What to remove from social media before applying for a job?

Social media often reflect how we are as individuals and nowadays it is fairly easy to find information about a person online. According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 70 per cent of employers will have a look at your profiles on social media before inviting you for an interview or hiring you. This number shows the importance of managing the content you share with friends on various platforms.

Recruiters habits

Usually, after receiving applications and looking at CVs, the next step of a recruitment process is to get to know who the applicant is as a person. Recruiters want to know if the information the candidate put on their CV is in line with the profile on social media. For example, are the dates of previous employment the same? Are there other pieces of information that could affect the person’s capacity to do the job or alter the company’s image of the person?

By using a search engine like Google and typing the candidate’s name, the recruiter can look for social media profiles and possibly controversial information. But what is controversial information? It can be non-professional photos on Google Image (alcohol, drugs, nudity, weapons) coming from social media or a profile on a suspicious website for example.

For social media, it is pretty much the same idea. Recruiters want to check if you would fit in the company’s environment. For example, if a company needs someone with a calm, serious and managerial personality but find out you’re a more energetic party animal type of person, you might not be considered for the role. Facebook and LinkedIn are usually the most visited platforms because they’re the easiest to find. However, you should still be careful about your Twitter and Instagram posts, recruiters can be crafty.

What should you delete from your social media profiles?

As mentioned before, anything that is controversial or that could give a bad image of you should be removed or hidden from your social media profiles. Anything that is related to alcohol, drugs, violence or sexual content has to be deleted. Also, the way you express yourself on those platforms will be seen by recruiters. If your comments are insulting, racist or homophobic, your profile will be rejected.

It is important to look at what photos you share but also being careful about your interactions with others via comments, shared links, personal information or even interests and liked pages. 

Tips to improve your social media profiles

  • It is suspicious not to have a profile

Having a profile on one at least social media platform is essential in today’s society especially if you are young. Indeed, not having an account on any social media can give the impression that you have something to hide or that you are not even a real person who applied. The minimum required according to us is to have a LinkedIn profile.

  • LinkedIn

To make sure recruiters will find your profile easily, add the same photo, experiences and education as on your CV. It will reassure them that information on your CV is good. They will see posts that you liked, commented or shared and have a preview of who you are as a professional. Also, make sure your profile is always up to date. If some experiences are missing, you might appear as a less serious or detail-oriented person and recruiters will question the authenticity of your profile.

The take away: Update your LinkedIn profile every time you learn a new skill, have a new job or finished a course.

  • Facebook

If you have a Facebook profile, be careful about the privacy setting you put on it. Facebook allows you to do a Privacy Check-up and choose who can see your posts, personal information and the apps and websites you log in with your Facebook account. This Check-up will hide most of your content from recruiters but might not hide some old cover photos, profile pictures or post.

Quick tip: Secure your public profile by checking with a friend.

  • Twitter

On Twitter, it is also possible to hide your profile and filter the people who are following you. However, people usually use a public profile on Twitter, that’s why it is important to do a little work on your timeline. You should make sure your feed is respectful, personal but not too much. Of course, it can show who you are and what your interests are as long as they are not controversial or extreme.

Do not forget: Tweets from your teenage period are still online, might be a good time to delete them.

  • Adapt your profile depending on the job you’re applying for

Your social media public profiles should reflect who you are and therefore, what kind of job you’re looking for. If you are a more creative person who wants to be a graphic designer, for example, your profiles could include your personal website or your portfolio to show your creative side and seduce recruiters. If you are someone who wants to work in the sustainable development sector, it will be a plus if you shared that you’re already interested in this sector on social media.

Abroad Experience BV is an international recruitment agency which offers unique career opportunities to multilingual job seekers. See our vacancies.

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