8 Ways Your Social Media Presence Is Hurting Your Career

Surveys say that 70% of employers will look up candidates on social media, but when it comes to recruiters it’s more like 100%.

And if you think that whatever employers and recruiters find when they search for you online won’t have an impact on whether you get hired, you’d be wrong. 54% of employers say they’ve pulled a candidate from their shortlist based solely on their social media presence!

In a nutshell: Use social media wisely and it can do great things for your career, but use it thoughtlessly and it could do your professional reputation some serious damage.

Here are 8 ways your social media presence (past and present) might be hurting your career – and what you can do about it.

1. You’re complaining about work

Posting negatively about previous or current customers, colleagues or employers might get you lots of engagement on social media (for all the wrong reasons) but it reflects terribly on you.

Online rants are never a good idea. Sure, they might help you blow off some steam when you’re angry about something, but reacting emotionally and badmouthing people (even if anonymously) is so unprofessional.

Think about it: would you want to work with someone who complains publicly about their job? If you need to rant, phone a friend instead.

2. You have an unprofessional username

If you think employers won’t be looking beyond your LinkedIn account, think again. With a quick Google search, recruiters can easily trace your personal accounts too, and some employers even outsource social media screening for a thorough vet.

You have two choices here: either ensure your account names are fit for job hunting (so no ‘:|AngeL*B*tch|:’ or ‘Big Billy Boy’) or change your privacy settings so that your social media profiles aren’t traceable on search engines.

And the same goes for email addresses and Zoom usernames too!

3. Your posts or comments are inappropriate

Again, you might think that posting controversial stuff on LinkedIn gets you lots of attention, but it only attracts the wrong kind of attention.

Posting anything that might be considered offensive should be a big ‘no’ on any social media platform, and try to keep your LinkedIn content particularly professional.

Same goes for posting comments too. Remember that if you comment on a LinkedIn post, that post will appear in the newsfeed of everyone you’re connected with, even if they don’t follow the original poster.

The main lesson here is that if you’re ever second thinking a status update or comment – don’t publish it.

4. You have bad spelling and grammar

This might sound a bit petty but even on social media, spelling and grammar matters. As much as 66% of employers admit they look negatively on poor grammar or spelling in social media posts.

The reason for this is that it suggests lack of attention to detail. So take your time when posting, and use an integrated tool like Grammarly to keep your spelling and grammar in check. These tools will automatically flag any errors in the status box before you post.

5. You post info that contradicts your CV

This should be fairly obvious but it’s so crucial that your work history on LinkedIn reflects what’s on your CV.

If a recruiter notices any discrepancies, this looks to them like you either lied to get on the shortlist for a role or that you lack attention to detail – and neither is good.

Spend some time going through your LinkedIn and cross-referencing it with your CV. It could save you an awkward conversation and even improve your future job opportunities.

6. Your profile pic is unprofessional

Got an old Bebo or MySpace account you don’t use anymore? A Facebook account from way back in your uni days?

It’s likely there are a few old social media accounts floating around the web that you’ve forgotten about.  And it’s even more likely that these accounts will have profile pics you wouldn’t want an employer to see.

Have a deep search online and delete any old accounts you’re not using anymore. For those accounts you don’t want to delete, make sure you change your privacy settings so the profile pics are appropriate (or at least hidden to the public!).

7. You’ve shared info about a job offer

As recruiters, trust us when we say that the job is certainly not ‘in the bag’ when you get an offer from an employer. Unfortunately, lots of jobs still fall through before start date.

This is why – as well-intentioned as posts like this can be – you should never share any information about a job offer or a hiring process before you start the job.

It’s not unheard of for an employer to retract a job offer because the candidate has posted unprofessionally during their notice period.

If in doubt, just ask your recruitment consultant for guidance. That’s what we’re here for!

8. You’re posting too often

We know the advice on social media activity can be a bit confusing. A lot of sources say you should post frequently on LinkedIn to help build your network and reputation as a professional. You’ve probably also been told to comment and engage with other people’s posts as much as possible too.

But there’s a balance you need to strike. If it looks like you spend too much time on social media platforms, posting and commenting at all hours of the day, this is a red flag for employers.

Give yourself a specific window in the day for working on your social media presence (preferably outside working hours) and stick to it.

What does your social media say about you?

So now the question is: What does your current online presence really say about you as an employee?

Take some time to look through your social media account web search in public mode to see what employers see (open a new window in ‘incognito mode’ to view this) and make any necessary changes.

If you need some help auditing your social media presence to get ready for the job market, we’d be happy to help!

Contact one of our specialist consultants at Lusona today and someone will be in touch to help you out, free of charge.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash 

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