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Social Media Tips for Job Candidates

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Social media is part of the fabric of 21st century life. It has become all-pervasive, and you can be sure that employers will view job candidates’ social media profiles in order to sort the best from the rest. What can you do to make yourself stand out, and what should you avoid when building your online profile?

Choose your platform 

There’s a big difference between social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, which is designed for professionals. Most people will have a Facebook and Twitter account these days, but it’s a good idea to compartmentalise work and social aspects of your life when creating an online persona. LinkedIn is effectively a platform for your CV, and a well-constructed profile will show potential employers that you’re serious. Remember to list every last bit of experience you’ve gained, and make sure you take time to build your network. A well connected individual is an asset to any business, and you want to stand out from the crowd.

Present yourself professionally 

Employers will be looking for evidence of integrity, professionalism and communication skills across all of your social media accounts, and information can be accessed very easily on Facebook if you fail to manage your security settings carefully (see point 3.)

It’s vital to consider the image you wish to portray and vet any content accordingly. We all like to post our holiday snaps on social media, but employers will not want to see you looking seven shades to the wind on that trip to Magaluf. They will certainly be put off by lurid descriptions of your exploits, and you should think twice about posting vulgar or offensive content. Employers want to know that they’re hiring reliable, professional and, frankly, pleasant people. With this in mind, you should also vet other people’s comments on your posts and remove anything unsavoury. Nobody wants to be tarred by association.

Manage your security settings

The best way to prevent employers gaining access to potentially compromising social media content is to diligently manage your security settings. This is especially true on Facebook, where you may find that settings change from time to time. Restricting who can view your posts is a good policy, and you can set your account so others can’t tag you in photos without your approval.

Also, don’t forget your social media history. Facebook allows you to limit the audience for past posts, so it’s worth spending an afternoon removing or hiding any content that shows you in a bad light.

And finally… communication is key 

 The language you use online is vitally important. Communication is key to so many professions, and potential employers will be thinking “can this person express themselves confidently and clearly?” The words you use, even in a throwaway Tweet, can give a strong indication of the person underneath. Don’t shout, and don’t use text-speak – many find it unprofessional and will be wondering whether or not you can actually construct a proper sentence.