What employers search for on your social media: 4 things to avoid

If you think that your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles won’t be looked at when you’re applying for a job, think again. It has become common now for most employers to search through candidates’ social media accounts as part of the hiring process. It’s not only social media accounts that are being looked at. Up to 70% of employers are also using online search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing to research potential employees and job applicants, compared to just 59% last year.

However, don’t go deleting all your social media accounts! Employers are also looking for reasons to hire you! One-quarter of hiring managers expect candidates to have some sort of online presence, and nearly 60 percent are less likely to call someone in for interview if they can’t find them online.

These are some of the things you should make sure are not on your profile:

1. Inappropriate photos. This is the first and most obvious thing to avoid
having on any of your social media profiles. While this is common sense for
most of us, it still seems to be happening on some peoples’ ends. So, make
sure those questionable photos from that night out are offline and away from
future employers’ eyes. It’s a good idea to scroll all the way back and look
through old photos on your social media accounts to truly make sure there is
nothing there that could make employers not hire you.

2. Complaining about your job. Even if you’ve had the most terrible day at
work, it’s never a good idea to complain about your workplace or your job
online. Not only will you appear as being ungrateful for the job that you’ve
have, but it can also get you into trouble with your current employer or
future employer later on— who may find it easier to stumble upon your post
than you think. Future employers who read your post will most likely end up
drawing the conclusion that you are an uncooperative and unprofessional
candidate.

3. Politically charged controversial comments. If you’re worried about
offending potential employers, it’s not a good idea to post political rants or
religiously-motivated opinions on your Facebook or Twitter. While it may be
acceptable to share news articles or tag your friends in videos to generate
discussion among your circle of friends, you should think twice before posting
something that could be viewed taken out of context.

4. Offensive jokes and posts. More than often, employers are searching for
clues in your social media that highlight traits in your personality and .
character that show you are suitable for the job, such as being a good .
communicator and being respectful. Making discriminatory remarks or jokes
targeted towards a group or individual will not exactly paint you in the
perfect light for employers, so it’s best you avoid negative comments related
to race, gender or religion. It won’t do you any favours.

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