Social media - who's looking at your profile?

Career development, CV advice

When you're looking for a new role, understandably most of your focus will be on making sure that recruiters and employers are both looking at your CV. Whilst this is a great place to start, you shouldn't forget the online presence that you already have.

Your social media profiles are important when you're actively looking for a new role and if you're not looking just yet. Just because you're not seeking a new position, it doesn't mean that recruiters aren't scouring the internet for people with your skills - you could be the candidate that they've been looking for! With all the search functions available on LinkedIn and also Facebook and Twitter, employers will be able to find and contact you via almost any medium if they think you could be a good addition to their team. When you're actively seeking a new role, recruiters will also look at your social media profiles to make sure that they all add up. For example, do the dates on your LinkedIn profile match the dates on your CV? But most importantly, they'll ask themselves the following question: What do your social media profiles say about you?

The Hiring Site revealed that 60% of recruiters use social media profiles to screen their candidates: but what does this really mean, and more importantly, how can you make sure that you pass the test?

Top of the list of reasons a recruiter wouldn't take your application further was if they found provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information. This would put off 46% of the recruiters questioned, and put a real dent in your employment opportunities. Whilst of course you have every right to post whatever you like to your profile, it's important that you think about who can see it when you post. For example, if you post an image to Facebook, what do your security settings say? Can anyone see it, or just your friends?

We'd recommend that you set your security settings so that only people you're connected to can see your content as a precaution. Of course, if you accept an invitation from a recruiter on this platform they'll still be able to see your content; but people just looking at your profile won't see it. This could be the difference between your CV being put forwards and being left behind so it's a must!

Another real turn-off for 31% of recruiters is candidates bad-mouthing a previous company or employee. Perhaps more prevalent on Twitter, this is a really easy thing to fix. Firstly don't do it! We've all been in a position where we've felt angry with someone and felt the urge to spill on social media; but it only causes problems. Not only will you hurt people, even if you do delete the post later it'll still be remembered. It's worth looking back at your profile and deleting anything that could be viewed as unkind - no one wants someone on their team who is quick to anger and looks like they don't get along well with others.

Finally, 29% of recruiters say that poor communication skills online would put them off recommending a candidate. If your CV boasts excellent communication skills, then why not show them off! Whilst abbreviations are completely a part of social media, particularly Twitter which imposes a character limit, do make sure that your spelling is on the whole correct. Use platforms like LinkedIn to post articles and blogs that you've written, making sure that recruiters and employers see what you're capable of and not that drunk post at 4am which you still don't really understand!

Whilst social media is private and personal it only remains that way if you're careful about what you post, and who sees it. To make sure that your CV stays on top of the pile, review your security settings, post appropriate content and make sure that your profiles reflect the very best version of you.