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Are your Social Media Profiles Costing you Jobs?


Social media, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Youtube


Have you been applying for job after job and wondering why prospective employers haven’t responded to schedule interviews – despite having all of the required attributes, experience and qualification to fill the posts in question? If so, there’s a strong possibility that some of the content on your social media accounts may be to blame.


While you may think your social media accounts provide the ideal platform to express your opinions on various topics and share pictures or videos of your latest pub-crawl with your mates, these things could very well be hindering your job hunting progress.


More than 70% of employers will use social media to screen potential job candidates, with up to 60% of them deciding not to hire a specific candidate because of content they’ve accessed on one or more of their online profiles.


Here are just a few red flags on your social media accounts that could cause potential employers to discard your job application:


1. Inappropriate Content


Several employers said that they changed their minds about hiring a specific candidate after seeing provocative videos or photos. Additionally, employers noted that seeing images of prospective employees using drugs or drinking excessively played a huge part in the screening process.


2. Complaints about your Job


Your social media profiles are definitely not the right place to complain about your job, your boss, workplace policies or any coworkers – regardless of how annoying they may be. When potential employers see posts like these, your chances of being hired diminish quite substantially because they don’t want to have to worry about you causing potential damage to the company brand over time.


3. Bullying Others Online


If you bully others online, there’s nothing stopping actions like these from spilling over into the virtual workplace. Any evidence of this type of behavior on your social media profiles will usually result in your application being discarded immediately.


4. Poor Grammar and Spelling


Although you may think your social media profiles are personal, it’s still essential to use proper spelling and grammar. With the vast amount of spell check options that are available nowadays, there’s no excuse for posting anything that is misspelled or worded so badly that no one can understand it. Poor spelling and grammar can even indicate to prospective employers that your communication skills aren’t professional enough for the workplace.


5. Heavily Opinionated Content


While it’s a good thing to take a stand and believe in something worthwhile, presenting an overly opinionated view online can affect your chances of being hired. Potential employers look for candidates who will blend into the current work environment and not individuals who will create dissention between team members or management.


6. Lying about Previous Work Experience


If there’s even a hint that you may have lied on your social media profiles about a previous job or work experience, potential employers will toss your application without a second thought.


Performing a Complete Social Media Audit


Before you even think about applying for a new job, it’s crucial that you perform a thorough check on all of your social media profiles to ensure that no information is available that will hinder your chances of making it through to the final interview process. Here are some of the best ways to perform a complete audit of your online presence:


1. Locate All Social Media Accounts


The easiest way to find all of your social media accounts is to do an online search. Once you’ve found your various profiles, remove or delete any that are inactive or that may put you in an unprofessional light in any way.


2. Remove All Inappropriate Content


After deleting inactive accounts, it’s time to go through those that are active with a fine-toothed comb. Are there absolutely any status updates, photos or videos that show even a hint of unprofessionalism or inappropriate behaviour? These can include photos of your last drunken brawl, complaints about previous or current places of employment and videos of you and your friends involved in any form of activities that would make a prospective employer think twice about hiring you.


3. Update your Profile Photos


Have a good look at your current profile photo on each of your social media profiles. Was it taken recently or is it more that a year or two old? Upload an updated profile photo that actually looks like you, hasn’t been cropped or edited and that has you smiling. You should also be the only subject in your profile photos.


4. Ensure that Personal Information is Current


While inspecting your social media profiles, it’s also essential to check that any displayed contact information is up to date. Have you recently moved town, changed your email address or contact number? This information is especially crucial on job-seeking sites such as LinkedIn because it’s where several potential employers will search for candidates to fill positions.


Most social media networks have the option to include links to other networks you’re on, so ensure that you take advantage of this feature to cross-post your information as well.


5. Follow Potential Employers


These days, most companies have at least one social media profile or page online. Use this to follow and even interact with potential employers as it could provide useful topics of conversation during interviews.


6. Check Privacy Settings


Each social network has its own privacy settings that you’ll need to familiarise yourself with because they play a crucial role how you’ll appear to potential employers. For example, LinkedIn recently updated a privacy setting that allows users to let recruiters know they’re seeking employment without letting connections or current employers know.


It may seem tedious to clean up and update all of your social media profiles, but your efforts stand a far higher chance of being rewarded in the form of a new job this way. If you’re feeling totally overwhelmed at the process of having to do this with all of your social media profiles, I can help. Get in touch with me today to find out more about the various options I can provide in this regard.

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