Pier Recruitment
Brighton and Hove Recruitment
Brighton and Hove Recruitment

How social media can impact your job search

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There is no doubt that social media plays a massive part in the job search process these days – for both employee and employer! As little as ten years ago, you would go to an interview to meet your employer and this would be the first time they see what you look like; now there is no-where to hide if you have active social media sites.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ (to name a few) allow employers to research you before and after they have met you. Gone are the days of hiding behind your CV and cover letter! Of course, job-seekers can also look up employers, so they system works two ways. For many business professionals, social media can be used as a tool to make connections, improving your networking credibility – which could allow your career to progress. Unfortunately, there are also many pit-falls of social media, not only can it hinder your chances of securing an interview, occasionally it can trigger the demise of your career.

Hopefully you will never make the following mistakes on  social media sites, however, it is always worth double-checking!

1 – Don’t complain about your old job, new job or boss!

We all have days where we get home, exhausted and stressed with a mountain of chores to do. – Let’s be honest, sometimes we could do with a cry, a bucket of Ben and Jerry’s and a good-old vent of frustration on Facebook. Sadly, this is never a good idea, especially when it is related to your profession. Airing your dirty laundry on social media may not be immediately damaging, but it can always come back to bite you. A colleague could forward your rant onto your boss (harsh, but it happens) or the post may be found days, weeks, months down the line by your current or future employer. This could result in you losing your job, being in your bosses bad books or losing out on an interview because of badmouthing past employers/employees!

2 – Don’t repeatedly use ‘text language’!

This point seems like no big deal, but you’d be surprised how many employers dislike ‘text speak’. Yes, it comes in handy when texting or if you’re trying to cram as many words as you can into a tweet, but repeatedly using abbreviations online can look very sloppy. It also suggests that you may be covering up that you can’t spell or write properly – which an employer doesn’t want to see. The occasional ‘hi m8, u ok’ is fine…but streams of it just doesn’t look good.  

3 – Don’t post tasteless, hateful, inappropriate or racist comments!

We don’t really need to expand on this point – just don’t do it. Whether you think it’s funny, meant as a joke or otherwise, someone else will read it offensively and it can be very detrimental to your professional and personal life!

4 – Don’t share your latest job offer until you are sure that it isn’t confidential and it has been formally confirmed!

As exciting that receiving a job offer is, sometimes they are strictly confidential. Job offers aren’t always set in stone until you have undergone the correct formalities and accepted the role / requirements with your potential employer. If you break any confidential agreements right from the word-go, you may be seen as untrustworthy and your offer may be withdrawn.

It seems obvious, but what you also shouldn’t do is say anything negative about the offer or openly slate your interviewer. Mashable, reports on such instances (see link) http://mashable.com/2011/06/16/weinergate-social-media-job-loss/#VaXD_JJ0HOqi. It seems unbelievable – but it does happen – ALL THE TIME!

5 – Don’t be careless and be mindful of the images you post!

Some people have been suspended because of posting pictures of themselves with alcohol. This is generally frowned upon if you work closely with children or people who need close care, however, if you have an office/warehouse/retail job, a picture of you in Spain on your balcony with a glass of wine is more than likely to be fine. What is not fine, is a picture of you with your head over the loo, revisiting what you ate for dinner after a ‘wild night out in Ibiza’. Keep these pictures for the ‘good memories’.


6 – Don’t post images of yourself that are inappropriate or use foul language.

Enough said. This should not be on social media, regardless of your profession!

Being sensible and safe online is a good lesson to learn. Even fairly innocent posts/images can occasionally get into the wrong hands, so make sure you think before you post. More often than not – you’ll be fine. Just be aware – you don’t want past mistakes coming back to haunt you!


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This post was written by Emma Jones