how social media can affect your job search

With the insights about a person that social media can offer, it’s no surprise that more and more employers are researching prospective employees on their social media profiles.

This article will give you some guidance on making sure your profiles show the best you – the employable you.

Many people use social networks – especially designbuilt professional network Linkedin – specifically for networking and profiling their work, skills, knowledge or hobbies.

It is important to remember that such profiles are often available to EVERYONE – even future employers. Latest estimates show that more than 30 percent of employers use social media to find personal information about potential candidates.

Many also simply Google potential employees. There have been cases of employees getting fired because of what’s ‘out there’. There have also been cases when the applicant was not accepted because these employers saw things online that they did not like.

It is essential that you are aware of the online profile you create for yourself.


So how can social networking sites be a disadvantage for the employee or job application?


  • Be careful not to post any inappropriate photographs which could be detrimental to your character. Employers are not intentionally trying to catch you out and your online profile/photos can help prospective employers to build a character profile of you.

Telling a Lie (and getting caught)

  • You want to join your friends’ all-day weekday party but don’t want to take a day off as holiday. Instead you call in sick to go to the party! Once you get back to the office, you pretend that you are still recovering from that sickness. What you don’t know is another friend has posted the party’s pictures on their Facebook account. Harmless enough but what if your boss happens to see the picture and the date when it was taken? Not quite harmless anymore and it might even get you fired because you lied to your employer.

Backbiting your current/previous boss or company

  • You resigned from your previous job and are now applying for a new job. Then you post something on your Facebook account ranting about your boss or moaning about the company. Or you are still in your current job but want to get back at your boss because you dislike them so you announce this on your Facebook. If you wrote something like this you might do it again and any employer will think twice before hiring you.

Posting information about your company, boss or co-worker

  • Be careful when posting information in your Facebook about your company, boss or co-workers. Some may be confidential information or information that should not be leaked out if there’s no prior approval. Posting them in a social networking site means you are violating company policy.

Racist/sexist or political comments

  • Making remarks that may make you look like a racist or a sexist (even though in reality you are not) will make you unacceptable to your prospective employer. Or you made known your political affiliation in your networking site, which happens to be the opposite of your boss’ or your prospective employers’ beliefs or convictions. Although the latter may not get you fired (for your current job), it is safe to say that it will be a long time before you get a promotion (if you get promoted at all). As to the new job, don’t be surprised if your prospective employer does not hire you.

Incorrect grammar and typos

  • This may not get you fired or stop you from getting a job but it is a negative as it indicates a degree of sloppiness your employer or future employer does not want to see transferred to your job output. And what if you are applying to become a journalist or a writer? Then you most definitely will have trouble getting that job.

Revealing Too Much Information

  • So you have already passed the interview and you are confident that you will get the job. But, you did not! Why? Because you posted in your Facebook account that you have an ongoing application to go to another country or for another job that which you prefer. What’s more, you also posted that you are just biding your time before you leave. This will really make it impossible for you to get that new job.