Five ways social media is costing you the job

28.03.2018

You could be guilty of recruiter’s most disliked social media turn-offs without even realising it, and since the amount of recruiters looking their candidates up online is on the increase, it’s vital to make sure your profiles don’t portray you in the wrong way.

If you’re not sure where you’re going wrong, here are five social media faux-pas that could be holding you back from finding your dream job:

You’re overly critical
Whether it’s about politics, recent news, or your current job, sharing too many negative thoughts or strong opinions on subjective topics could reflect badly on you.

In fact, a recent study from OfficeTeam revealed that 45% of hiring managers consider this the biggest turn-off when searching a candidate’s social media profiles.

The same rule applies after a bad day at work. Letting off steam on your favourite social media platform can seem harmless (assuming you’re not friends with your boss), but you never know who else might see your comments.

Additionally, broadcasting insulting remarks about your current employer or co-workers will only make you look unprofessional, and most hiring managers will assume you’d act in the same way if they offered you a job with them, making you a potential threat to their office morale.

Top tip: ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’ (and various other inspirational quotes).

Your photos are inappropriate
Always be aware of who can see your photos, and do your best to ensure they could safely be considered recruiter-friendly.

It’s generally common sense to know what kind of photos are social media appropriate and which ones aren’t, but this can sometimes be forgotten in the midst of an inside joke, impromptu selfie spree, or your friends’ penchant for embarrassing photo tagging pranks.

However, the last thing you want is for the hiring manager of your dream job to come across your profile, see it’s overrun with photos of you holding drinks and falling over, and therefore ultimately decide that you must not be the right fit, or aren’t professional enough, for their role.

Top tip: use privacy settings to your advantage. Make sure the photos you choose to keep public represent you at your best.

Added privacy warning: be aware that privacy settings aren’t always fail-safe. If someone decided to use graph search to find photos of you, your preferences will mean nothing…

You share too much
It’s fine to share some things with the world via social media, but there’s no need to talk about every single aspect of your life.

69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate because of what they’ve seen on their social media, so don’t give them a reason to doubt you.

Keep personal issues to yourself and don’t broadcast all of your conversations (or arguments) to everyone who might come across your profile. You’d be surprised at the little things that could make you come across unprofessional in a recruiter’s eyes, proving that some things really are best kept between friends.

Although most people are already aware of what shouldn’t be shared online (e.g. alcohol, sexual references, anything illegal), you can often forget that there’s more people to consider than your direct friends and family. In reality, if it’s online, there’s a good chance prospective recruiters will find it.

If in doubt, just remember that if you wouldn’t want your parents to see it, it’s probably not recruiter-safe either.

Top tip: think before you type. And remember, there is such a thing as TMI.

You post when you should be working
The frequency, and timing, of your posts are equally important.

If your profile consists of an endless stream of statuses and Candy Crush Saga invites sent throughout your working day, it probably isn’t going to scream ‘diligent worker’. And you’d be surprised quite how many recruiters see social media usage at work as one of their biggest faux-pas, with two-in-three UK workers believing that social networking should be banned from the workplace all-together.

So, keep your recreational social media usage on your own time, and avoid potential employers thinking you’re prone to slacking on the job.

Sadly, unless you’re an aspiring Social Media Manager, it’s unlikely that someone will employ you to spend eight hours a day on Facebook.

Top tip: avoid checking your social media religiously throughout the day. Your notifications will still be there at lunch.

You’re not active
If you’re reading this and thinking, ‘Phew, I don’t have any social media profiles, so I guess I’m safe…’ think again.

Believe it or not, recruiters aren’t vetting your online profiles solely to find something negative. The main purpose of their search is to validate hiring you. Essentially, they want to see if your work history, qualifications, and skills match up to your application. It’s also a great opportunity for you to show off mutual connections and examples of previous work.

If you have zero online presence, recruiters have no way to confirm their hire, and you might just fall by the wayside.

Similarly, a profile that hasn’t been recently updated is likely to have a negative effect. After all, how will a recruiter know if your most recent work experience is valid if your online information only dates up to 2010?

Top tip: keep your online information up-to-date. After all, being even just a little bit tech-savvy can be considered a necessity in many jobs.