Watch for this social media blind spot when looking for a new job

Photo by NASA via Getty Images
  • Your social media activity and profile are crucial to your next big job.
  • Recruiters Hays says to make sure what you say on social media aligns with details on your CV.
  • And don’t badmouth a previous employer or post inappropriate or risqué content.

Recruiters say many job seekers still have a blind spot when it comes to their social media activity.

Having an online profile which doesn’t match details of a resume submitted in an application is a sure way to get pushed out of a job shortlist.

Engaging in an online flame war or putting your name to profanity-filled content also diminishes chances of getting interviews.

“Your online activity can have an impact on your chance of securing a job, particularly if it’s offensive or contradicts the professional image or experience you are portraying to hiring managers,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.

“We live in a digital age and most employers review a job candidate’s social profiles before inviting them in for an interview.

“This gives a hiring manager a more detailed insight into a candidate’s skills.

“The most popular platform is LinkedIn because it brings experience to life and tells a story about your career and what you are looking for. But jobseekers should also expect that any social profile that comes up in a search will be reviewed.”

Deligiannis cites the example of expletive-ridden tweets which cost a woman a NASA internship.

“When online, assume that everything you post could be viewed by a potential employer and used as part of their decision making process,” he says.

According to Hays, the most common social media mistakes:

  • Experience that does not align with details provided in a CV
  • Badmouthing a previous employer
  • Inappropriate or risqué content
  • Aggressive threads or engagement in a flame war
  • Discriminatory sentiments
  • Failing to fully utilise social media to build a professional personal brand

Hays advises jobseekers to use LinkedIn to build a personal brand.

Keep the profile up-to-date by adding details of recent projects, new skills and your latest achievements.

Add links to your work throughout your profile. Use a professional profile photo, build a network of relevant professional contacts and post frequently.

Sync the online presence and LinkedIn profile with your written CV.

Even a small discrepancy will raise red flags.

Use Instagram to follow an organisation and gain an insight into their company culture.

“You can also show your passion for your industry by posting pictures at trade shows, events or networking groups, or visits to relevant offices or facilities,” says Deligiannis.

“Use Twitter to demonstrate your interests and expertise. For example, tweet about a webinar you found informative.

“Assume anything you post online is accessible by a potential employer, even if you update your privacy settings. If you wouldn’t want a hiring manager to see it, don’t post it.”

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