Is Social Media Holding Back Your Career?


There’s no doubt that social media can help you find a new role. Whether you see a post on Facebook advertising your dream job, or if you use LinkedIn to network with people in your industry, social platforms can be incredibly beneficial for your career.

But your social media accounts can also prevent you from getting a new job. While your profiles themselves undoubtedly come with tight security settings, you also need to consider the content or comments you’re posting publicly. It’s become common practice for employers to check out candidates online, so it’s a good idea to clean up your social media presence when job hunting!

Employers Want a Good Culture Fit

Many employers will do a bit of background research into candidates to ensure that they’d be a good fit within the company culture. For instance, if you’re applying for a job at a vegan deli, and your social posts mainly consist of photos of you eating burgers and BBQ ribs, the business may be hesitant to hire you. Companies are also checking for offensive language and behaviour.

It goes without saying that how you use your social media accounts is up to you – everyone should be entitled to freedom of expression! But if you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see some of your posts, it may be sensible to follow the following guidelines!

Your Social Media Presence

The first thing to consider is securing your social media profiles. If you make each of your accounts private, so that only people you know can access them, you won’t have to worry about your new employer seeing any embarrassing posts… We’ve outlined a few more social media tips to think about below:

Set Up Professional Accounts

You probably don’t need a professional account across every social media platform, but there are a few that could be useful. LinkedIn, for instance, should probably only focus on your professional life. In fact, standing out on LinkedIn can really help you progress in your career. It’s a fantastic networking platform, and you may be surprised by how many professional connections you have.

When it comes to your other social media accounts, the best thing to do is make them private while you’re job hunting, or in general. Even if none of your posts or comments are offensive, their content will be personal, and probably not the sort of thing you want your new boss seeing.

Comments Matter

When people lock down their social accounts, they often don’t consider their comments too. Making your accounts private will ensure most people can’t see your own posts, but if you’re commenting on other pages that are public, these will still be visible. So try to avoid using bad language, inappropriate remarks or insults in any public domain. Getting a bad reputation online could damage your career prospects.

Perfect Photos?

While all your photos are bound to be stunning, you may wish to carefully consider which ones you post online. You should also monitor the photos and videos others upload. Most people do this anyway, as they want to avoid any images that could be deemed embarrassing!

It may not seem fair that a potential employer could judge you on a photo found on your social media account. But as these platforms are generally open, the images are in the public domain, and are available for anyone to view. And while an employer shouldn’t make assumptions about you based on these photos, unfortunately the images could change their perception of you, consciously or not.

Go Through Your Contacts

Some people often go through their list of friends and followers on social media, and get rid of followers or contacts they don’t know. But others don’t really know what connections they have online. This will largely depend on what you use social media for – if the aim is to gain a large audience, you probably don’t care who’s following you, but if you use social channels to connect with friends and family, you may be more cautious.

Overall, it’s important to remember that anything you post on social media, if it’s in a public space, could be viewed by a potential employer. So make sure you only post things you wouldn’t mind your new boss seeing!


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