5 Ways Your Social Media Profiles Could Be Ruining Your Job Search

By Amy Edwards

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Social media; there to help you catch up with friends, make valuable connections and… miss out on a potential new job. Think I’m lying about the last one? Sorry – but I’m really not.

You see, these days job candidates have got massive digital footprints all over the place – so it’s no wonder recruiters are starting to turn to sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to get the bigger picture regarding candidates and their suitability… and sadly, sometimes they don’t like what they see.

Now, you might think something you post on your social media profiles isn’t actually going to have that much of a direct impact on your application – but it really can. In really competitive markets where 85 applicants are fighting for the same role, a dodgy post can mean the difference between getting through to the next stage and your resume being tossed into the trash can - so be careful!

The following might sound pretty obvious but believe us, some of you are still making these mistakes (even when actually applying for social media jobs themselves!) so watch out!

1. Inappropriate Language: It’s pretty obvious but swearing on your social media profiles is a massive turn-off for employers, as is inappropriate language in general so be careful. Now, no one’s saying you can’t say what you want to say (within reason!) on your Twitter and Facebook accounts… but if you’re actively looking for a new job, it might be time to review you privacy settings to ensure they can’t be found by a potential employer.

2. Public Bad-mouthing Of Your Current Employer: Yes, we all have bad days at work and some of us even take to social media to vent our frustrations – but again, you need to be careful! Not only is bad-mouthing your current employer in public bad practice, it’s also extremely risky. Not only do you risk your potential new employer seeing it, but you also risk your current one spotting it too – which means there’s a chance you could be leaving your current place of work sooner than you think.

3. Poor Spelling: A recent poll showed that employers are put off when they see a candidate’s social media profile that is littered with spelling mistakes and typos. Why? Because it suggests they’re not conscientious and have poor attention to detail. The solution? Take a few seconds to read over what you’ve written to check for spelling mistakes (most have spell check built in these days) before you post. Or alternatively, just tighten up your privacy settings.

4. Inappropriate Photos: We’ve all been there – you go out for a ‘quiet few’ on a Saturday night and before you know it you’re out until 3am and the next day there’s some terrible pictures on Facebook. Now, while there’s nothing wrong with this, you’ve got to admit – it doesn’t look great to a potential employer. The solution? Either make all your photos private – or change your settings so you have to approve any photos you’re tagged in before they get published on your Timeline. Similarly, no one’s saying you have to have a really boring, uptight profile image for your LinkedIn profile… but maybe a photo of you looking bleary eyed clutching an alcohol beverage isn’t the way to go either.

5. Bare LinkedIn Profile: 9 times out of 10, your LinkedIn profile is the one that a potential employer is going to check out first so you need to make sure it’s filled in properly and it’s up to date. What’s that? You don’t need to because you have an up to date resume? Wrong! Remember, your resume is limited to two pages so there’s only going to be so much information you can include – on the other hand, you have an unlimited amount of space on your LinkedIn profile so you can really write a detailed description of your key skills and work history. Oh, and don’t forget to pick some quality recommendations up, sooner rather than later!


Amy Edwards is content manager at Bubble Jobs and regularly blogs about job search tips, recruitment advice and interview help.

Image credit: mkhmarketing


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