Social Media has become an integral part of our daily lives, but what a lot of jobseekers don’t realise is that their online behaviour can severely influence the prospect of landing a job. You aren’t just sharing your social media posts with your friends (unless you have the right privacy settings), but with the whole world, including recruiters considering your job applications. Here are 3 social media faux pas jobseekers make that you should avoid.

Not understanding the difference between public and private

All social media platforms have settings regarding the privacy of your profile content, and the posts you make. You need to make sure you are well acquainted with all the available settings for each platform you use, so that you know what you are sharing and with whom.

For example, if you are going to be posting lots of pictures of drunken parties, harsh or inflammatory opinions on news and events, or any other material you wouldn’t want to share with recruiters, then you should make sure your posts aren’t publicly visible. Many a jobseeker has been rejected for a position that was theirs to lose after their social media faux pas were discovered by company recruiters. Make sure that you avoid suffering the same fate!

Bad mouthing employers and colleagues

3 social media faux pas jobseekers make - bad mouthing employers

Your current role, the company you work for, or one of your colleagues may just be your worst nightmare, what you perceive to be the central problem in your life at this precise moment, but posting it all over your social media accounts is not the way to go.

Whether you are complaining about current or past positions, avoid doing so in as public a forum as social media, rather confide your problems in private to the people close to you if you need to get it off your chest. If recruiters researching you for a potential role find negative comments you have made about past roles or employers, whether recently or long ago, your chances of being offered the position in question are limited. If you were capable of bad mouthing that company, what would stop you from doing so about a new one once you’ve had a bad day?

Failing to grasp the effect of social media on their personal brand

In today’s digital society a jobseeker’s personal brand is of utmost importance. The job market is highly competitive with 100s, if not more, applicants for every role, and the personal brand you build online is integral to making you stand out.

Your presence on social media forms a massive part of your online personal brand. The media you share, the comments you make, and the discussions you get involved in, all form a piece of your online persona. When conducting a job search you must be confident that the personal brand you have built for yourself online is one that portrays the characteristics, personality traits, and soft skills that would make you attractive to any prospective employer.

All jobseekers should take advantage of the opportunities provided by social media for their job search, however, must also be aware of the pitfalls associated with the platforms. By striking the perfect balance between private and professional, and crafting a well-developed personal brand, you can make social media work for you in your job search, rather than against you.

Posted by Alexander Goodenough

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