For most employers, your skills and experience are essential for assessing your suitability for a role. Finding a candidate with the right attitude, personality, and who is a good match with the company’s values and culture is paramount.

No matter how strong a resume may be, if an employer finds your online presence inappropriate or offensive – you could be jeopardizing your chances of landing the role or even getting an interview. If there are several quality candidates all vying for the same position, an employer will be actively seeking ways to filter down their selection - many employers are now turning to personal social media accounts to influence their hiring decision. 

Of course, your social media usage in your own time is up to you. It is your freedom of speech and personal choice – but it’s still wise to keep a few golden rules of thumb in mind while doing so. 

Maintain an up-to-date profile

It is important to update your LinkedIn profile with your latest experience, skills and achievements so that you can get noticed by hiring managers and recruiters. Additionally, to boost your visibility on LinkedIn, try to consistently engage in conversations on relevant topics by sharing content or commenting with your professional views. Be clear and concise with what you're articulating online. 

Do not lie or exaggerate about your past experience or achievements

Many recruiters and hiring managers use social media to conduct background checks. Your former colleagues may be identified on LinkedIn and contacted for reference check purposes. Thus be honest about everything - the job titles you've held, the responsibilities you've had and the results you've achieved. There should be no jarring discrepancies between your online and offline personalities. 

Avoid demonstrating negativity about your current or past employer

Never share negative comments online about your work, colleagues or boss. This will make you come across as someone who is unprofessional with a tendency to not bring in the right mindset and attitude to the role. Do not use swear words, avoid trolling and avoid being overly negative. We recommend candidates who are searching for a job to conduct a social media audit, and hiding or removing any old posts that may not position you in the best light. 

Ultimately, you should put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager choosing between candidates. It is natural for them to avoid hiring the candidate if he/she has demonstrated unprofessional or inappropriate social media behaviour. Don't jeopardise your job potentials, so think carefully about how you come across on your social media platforms; once post something on the internet, it lives there forever. 

For more resources to support your job search, visit our candidate centre.

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