Social media is now so influential in our lives that it almost goes without saying that a potential employer will make a beeline for their candidates’ social media feeds to get some inside information on their habits, behaviour and personality. The more they can ascertain about you in advance, the more prepared for the interview they’ll feel, and social media is now a go-to for that research. Given that, if you’re looking to change job or career, and especially if you’re hoping to climb the corporate ladder, it’s important to ensure that your social media feeds don’t let you down.

While social media plays a useful role in allowing us all to connect and share information, it’s also open to abuse, especially at the end of a night of drinking and partying or after a stressful day at work. Before you apply for any position, check your feeds and remove anything contentious because potential employers are likely to be looking at your social media accounts for any signs of the following:

  • Excessive drinking or drug taking
  • Strong political opinions
  • Poorly written posts that are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors
  • Inappropriate use of language in posts
  • Aggression and personal attacks towards contacts
  • Inappropriate images
  • Racist, sexist, homophobic or intolerant remarks

And, of course, they may be checking that you haven’t posted critical remarks about your previous employer(s) as that indicates a lack of tact and professionalism. While it’s advisable to check your feeds for posts that could harm your chances, it’s not necessary to delete your accounts altogether as your potential employer can pick up positive vibes about your character and your pastimes, as well as your opinions on important issues. In other words, positive messaging and intelligent comments on your social media feeds can generate good PR for your personal brand and convey what you’re really like as a person.

Rosa dos Santos, owner of Exact Sourcing, recognises that everything you post on your social media feeds has the potential to affect your prospects of being hired, so it’s important to be selective. ‘Social media is such a big part of our lives nowadays that it’s inconceivable that any applicant won’t have some sort of presence,’ comments Rosa. ‘And in turn that can lead to situations where you post something in haste or in anger and then forget about it, with it only coming to light when an interviewer spots it and asks you about it.

‘Our advice to all our candidates is to take some time to scroll through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social platforms they use to check that everything’s above board. At the end of the day, the last thing you want is to succeed with your application only for the offer to be withdrawn at the last moment by a diligent employer finding an incriminating post. On the flip side, if your social media accounts show you in a good light, and if potential employers do review them, they may even help you to nail your job interview and secure an offer.’

Exact Sourcing is a recruitment agency in Cambridge and Newmarket, and we also serve Ely, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Royston and Sawston. If you’re looking to make your next move, please contact us for an initial discussion.