You may have heard horror stories of employers trawling through potential candidates’ Facebook profiles, unearthing drunken selfies and dramatic statuses you penned when you were 13. The question is, will they hold it against you? It’s hard to know. Employers recognise that everyone is human, but at the same time, a first impression is a first impression. If you turning up to the interview all suited and booted is Dr Jekyll, that angry Twitter spat you had will definitely bring out your Mr Hyde.
So what can you do? Don’t panic, and don’t delete every social media account you own. There are ways around social media, and even ways to use the internet to your advantage – trust us!
The best way to not worry about how an employer will perceive you is to make yourself invisible. Not literally, of course, but a few tweaks to your online privacy settings will give you a lot more control over who sees what you’re up to. This is a good way of separating your social life from your professional life too – it means you can go into interviews knowing that the epic photoshoot of your cats wont be sitting at the back of your employer’s mind…
Delete, delete, delete
Chances are you’ve been knocking around on Facebook since your early teens. So when it comes to your old posts and photos, be ruthless. Make sure anything where “u talk lyk dis xoxo” is banished to memory (or at least made private). Having an up-to-date, well-maintained profile is also a good way of showing employers that you’re savvy and keep on top of things.
Think about what you’re posting
This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun anymore, but extended rants about your much-disliked PE teacher or public declarations of love probably aren’t what you should be posting on Facebook if there’s a chance your employer might see them. To give you an idea, if your profile is a varied mix of stuff that interests you, pictures of you with friends, and excitement about the Calvin Harris tickets you got for your birthday, you’re probably fine. After all, employers are looking to hire a human, not a robot!
To give you an idea, if your profile is a varied mix of stuff that interests you, pictures of you with friends, and excitement about the Calvin Harris tickets you got for your birthday, you’re probably fine. After all, employers are looking to hire a human, not a robot!
Make the most of it!
Social media doesn’t have to be a thorn in the side of your career. If used right, you it can be your eyes and ears for all things future related. If you’re into creative or graphics stuff, it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase your skills. You can follow industry-related accounts on twitter to stay in the know about what’s going on in your desired field. While we wouldn’t recommend sending your potential boss a Facebook friend request, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little bit more informed through the online channels.
If an employer wants to check out your online presence, the likelihood is that the first internet place they’ll call into is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the Facebook of the jobs world – instead of liking and sharing your friends post, you might endorse a colleague’s skillset or post about your latest work experience placement. It’s a great tool for keeping your social accounts social and your work achievements professional, and more so than that, you can get job alerts and may even be contacted by an interested employer.
Now that your social media accounts are sorted, time to browse the wealth of jobs available to you.
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