You’ve written a great CV, sent off an application with a cover letter, even thought about what you might wear to an interview – but, have you checked your social media accounts?
We've had candidates rejected before interviews due to what’s on their social media channels, and what their digital footprint looks like. This is why we strongly advise that you review what the web says about you and how you portray yourself online before you even start applying for a new job.
According to a recent study (source: Theladders.com), over 70% of employers check social media profiles of candidates to learn more about them, and about 47% of employers said that they would not call a candidate for interview who does not have any social media presence.
First of all, check what happens if you Google your name. Is there anything that comes up that you wouldn’t want you employer to see? If so, you need to think about how to get it taken down. Usually, it will be your own channels letting you down. Are there drunken night out pictures that you’re tagged in? If so, untag yourself, and, if possible, take any incriminating images down.
A good tip is to get a trusted and responsible friend to look over your social media and tell you what impression they get of you from it. You may be surprised (as long as they’re honest). Another approach is to look at your friends’ social media accounts and think about what impression you’d have of them if you were an employer who didn’t know them.
If you want to keep posting pictures that aren’t suitable for an employer, make your accounts private. Also, take an hour to delete any old accounts that you don’t use, so as not to clutter your digital footprint with irrelevant information.
Think about LinkedIn, too. Is your best professional side presented there? Spend a morning updating everything on your profile, making sure all the relevant skills and jobs are up there. That’s your sales window when you’re applying for a new role.
And, if, for some reason, there are digital references to you out there that you can’t remove, there are now companies who will clean up your digital footprint for a fee.
Whatever you do, don’t jeopardise the chance of getting your dream job by not checking what your digital footprint says about you.
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