What does your social media profile say about you?

Published: 15 Apr 2016 By UCAS

Potential employers are just as likely as anyone to get a sense of what you’re like from your social media profiles. But don’t be scared – they just want to make sure you’re human. Usually.

You meet someone new: a friend of a friend; someone you seem to have a fair amount in common with. Let’s not be coy – one of the first things you’ll do is take a look at their Facebook page. Or Instagram profile. Or…

It’s the same with employers. Sure, they’re bound to look at your LinkedIn page – it’s a platform built for professional matchmaking after all. However if any additional info about you exists elsewhere, it’s probably available for all to see.

Probably. It all depends on how: a) openly you live your life b) publicly accessible your social media profiles are. 

Don’t fret, jobseekers: there are a few things you can proactively do if you’re concerned about professional scrutiny by potential employers.

Spring clean your social media
Before any serious job hunt, it’s worth deleting anything from social media that you’d rather not make the world privy to. 

A few squiffy snaps of you and your chums aren’t going to hurt; but say you’re tagged in something that’d raise a few eyebrows… the kind of thing you wouldn’t want your parents to see. If in doubt, think ‘if it makes you cringe, it’ll make someone else do the same’. 

Crank up the privacy settings
That sorted, if you’re concerned what prospective employers might see in the future, you can up the ante on your social media security settings.

If you’re a prolific Instagram user you’ll already know how to make your account private – meaning you approve all followers. You can do the same on Twitter. You can dial up your Facebook security settings too. There’s loads you can do there – from ensuring you get to review everything you’re tagged in to keeping posts visible to ‘Friends only’.

And maybe share your craziest antics with close friends via WhatsApp or Snapchat – or any other private place where you’re sure anything questionable will stay under wraps. 

Keep it all in perspective 
In reality, no mainstream employer (that you’d actually want to work for) is going to orchestrate a social media witch hunt prior to calling you in for an interview. The only reason they’d bother to check you out in the first place is to make sure you’re a real person – not some anodyne automaton who says the right things on cue. 

Personality counts for a lot; smart employers want the best fit for their teams. And decent employers will respect your privacy too – if you put the right mechanisms in place! 

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