Your new employer saw you drunk on Friday night!

It may be a cliché, but the old adage “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” applies to any job seeker in today’s era of social media.
What you post, speaks volumes about who you are and what makes you tick, and although there are some ethical issues regarding the use of social media to screen applicants, companies can and do refer to your online activity as a way of vetting your suitability for a job.

Here are some simple tips to ensure social media is your friend rather than foe:


A very public arena

Start your social media cleanse by searching for yourself online and see what comes up. If you find anything in the public domain that you wouldn’t want your grandma to see, your new boss probably doesn’t need to see it either. Consider minimising the audience and keep an eye out for changes to privacy settings across your social networking accounts.

When in doubt, keep it clean

Tweets and posts filled with expletives are not going to give a prospective employer a good impression. It is supposed to be ‘social media’, but think about other ways to put your point across. Also, consider the subject of your post and the potential audience. Are you writing or sharing something that could be regarded as offensive to others? If you’re not 100% sure, don’t do it.

Under the influence

Having an active social life can be a positive thing! Many companies encourage work socialising for team bonding, plus it shows you’re a good mixer. On the other hand, if your social media accounts feature endless shots of you propping up the bar with drink in hand (or worse), limit their frequency or keep them private. The Recruitment Manager is looking for someone who can arrive on time every morning!

Flash the Flesh

It’s summer time, and bearing all in a bikini and skimpy outfits are part and parcel of the holiday experience. However, there’s a good chance you may be showing your future boss more than you would like, so spare those blushes and filter the photos you post.

 Everything in moderation

Try to vary the updates you share so that you’re giving a good all-round impression of yourself. If you do sports, like to cook or get involved with any groups or good causes, make sure they receive a mention. As much as negative behaviour can impact your chances, positive posts can help a recruiter see how well you will fit into the team.

Post clever to make sure your ‘social media footprint’ is a step in the right direction

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Jazz Panesar is a Digital and Technology Apprentice at Severn Trent. Read Jazz’s story here.

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