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What does your social media say about you?

How employable do you act online? For many, our digital lives are relaxed, casual, and shared among close friends, but how often do you think about who else is watching? New research from totaljobs has revealed that many of us don’t even consider our social media profiles when applying for a new job.

Around one in three recruits screen their social media accounts before an interview and are aware of their privacy settings when posting online, but the rest of us aren’t always on the ball when it comes to what we should and shouldn’t say. Beware, 74% of interviewers make a point of checking recruits’ online activity before the interview, so are you showing off the best parts of yourself? We’ve come up with some handy guidelines for making sure you don’t end up missing out on a job based on what you do online.

Check the poster
Many people don’t do this, especially on sites like Facebook. Controversial activist groups and offensive accounts will often share funny images, quotes and memes to appeal to general viewers and share their message, so make sure you aren’t accidentally supporting profiles that give off the wrong impression about your character.

Be respectful
I wrote a similar thing before, but if in doubt just assume your grandparents are reading. Would they like what they read? If you think they’d disapprove, maybe scale it down a bit. You don’t need to hide who you are, but just remember that everything from Snapchat to Instagram is publicly accessible now.

Go private
If you don’t want your grandparents reading what you have to say in the first place, investigate your privacy settings. Every social media site has privacy settings that can keep your posts from being readable to the world, so if you’re posting things you just want your close friends to see, make sure they’re the only people who can view it.

Use your words carefully
It’s important to remember that sarcasm doesn’t always come across in text. Make sure you read through anything you say online, and if you think it could come across badly, don’t post it. Things can always be misread by an employer scanning through your profile, so try to give your online personality a generally positive vibe.

Know what’s public
Millions of users access sites like Facebook and Twitter every day, but not everyone realises what other users can see if they just want to poke around. Twitter, for instance, tracks every single post you’ve ever ‘liked’, and its publicly viewable to anyone who looks on your profile. Similarly, any page you follow on Facebook can be seen by any of your friends, so if you don’t want your potential boss seeing the kind of things you look at on Facebook, maybe unlike a few pages.


Have you ever been confronted because of what you’ve written on social media? I once missed out on a job opportunity because an employer misread a compliment I gave the company as an insult (use your words carefully)…


Are you aware of everything you put online? Let us know on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn.