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Looking for a job? Here are 8 mistakes you’re making on social media


Avoid these at all costs.

Long gone are the days when you would apply to a job and be judged on your CV and interview performance alone. Thanks to the advent of social media, employers are so much more likely to have a good dig into your personal life when considering whether to hire you.

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Ignore the power of social media at your peril. The Recruiter Nation study found that after referrals, recruiters find their best candidates through social and professional networks. A miniscule 4% don’t use social media in the recruiting process, so it’s evidently important to ensure that your various profiles are up to scratch: both personal and professional.

We spoke to Rachel Stokell, a senior manager at the recruitment agency Robert Half to compile a list of the worst mistakes job hunters commonly make on social media.

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1. Open profiles

Security settings are in place to help you. Check that your profile isn’t wide open and you’re not accidentally sharing every holiday snap for anyone to see.

2. Unprofessional or inappropriate behaviour

Not only will your closest friends see that drunk status from McDonald’s at 2am, but so will any potential employers that decide to give your name a quick Google. Rachel advises job hunters to “keep it professional – your potential new employer will not want to see multiple images of your recent night out or your potentially critical opinion of your former boss!”

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3. Neglecting your Linkedin profile

Linkedin is often the first place recruiters and employers look. Ignore your profile at your peril, especially if you’re looking for a marketing or comms-based role. Sure, it’s not as fun as updating your Instagram, but it will be much more of a help when looking for a job.

4. Being too inactive

Social media can work to your advantage, and show potential employers that you are interested in your field. Stokell’s tip is to create your own blog and engage with others. She says: “It can be an effective way to show potential employers that you know a lot about a particular subject and are passionate about it”.

Posting it on Linkedin will boost your visibility.

(Heng Sinith/AP)
(Heng Sinith/AP)

5. Watch your friends

It’s not just your own behaviour you need to keep an eye on, but it’s also important to monitor what friends are posting on your pages. Stokell notes how due to social media “the line between someone’s personal and professional identities is becoming blurred”. Ensure that there isn’t anything that could potentially reflect badly on you.

6. Growing your online network too quickly and carelessly

Stokell tells us that “it is important that you don’t spam new contacts with invitations when you haven’t met in person or via e-introduction”.

(Clive Gee/PA)
(Clive Gee/PA)

7. Grammar and spelling mistakes

A no-brainer. Ensure that your digital presence puts your best foot forward.

8. Lying

Sure most people over-exaggerate, but completely fabricating your skills and experience will only get found out.

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So much is great about social media. As well as being a never-ending source of cute cat videos, it can help you secure your next job. Stokell describes how “social media allows you to have greater access to individuals with whom you may not otherwise have the chance to connect with” and therefore opening up a whole new world of opportunities – so use it wisely.