- Why do your social media accounts play an important role in your job applications?
- How to conduct your social media audit?
- What could you do to improve your online presence?
In 2021 nobody can deny the growing power of social media. More than half of the world frequently uses social media platforms to stay connected with friends and family, express our personalities, learn something new, and entertain ourselves. Although there are many positive aspects of social media, there is a growing concern for its harmful effects, especially in relation to our mental health. But what about the impact of social media on our career?
It turns out that social media can actually influence our job prospects. A Career Builder survey found that 70% of employers screen candidates' social media accounts before deciding to hire anyone. More importantly, over half of employers reported that they decided not to hire a candidate based on content that they found online.
Job seekers care a lot about making a great first impression at a job interview but often forget about their social media. Imagine how disappointed you would be if you get rejected from a job after spending lots of time perfecting your application and successfully passing the interview, only because the hiring manager found something inappropriate on your social media account.
When you are applying for jobs in the UK from abroad, your social media presence becomes even more important since you might not be able to meet in person with a potential employer.
The good news is that you can easily avoid this mistake by cleaning your social media profiles and adding positive content before you begin your job search. Today we will share the best tips for creating a professional online image to boost your job application success rate.
Which social media platforms do British employers check?
You leave your digital trace on many different websites, including blogs and social media sites. Tracking everything would be impossible, so instead, we will focus on the main platforms that employers often look at.
As the biggest professional online network, LinkedIn is the first place where your potential employer will check. This social media is quite popular in the UK, having nearly 31 million users. So, you should definitely register on this platform if you want to land a job in Britain.
If you already have a LinkedIn account, it would be a good idea to go over it and make sure that you have up-to-date information. Follow our detailed guide on how to improve your LinkedIn profile to grow your professional connections and make a good impression on the hiring manager.
Twitter is a 'microblogging' system that allows you to send and receive short posts called tweets. You can have a personal or a professional account, where you can choose to write your own tweets or retweet information that others have tweeted.
Having Twitter might be beneficial for establishing your professional persona online.
Here are a few suggestions of what you can do on Twitter to advance your career:
- Keep up-to-date with the latest news and developments
- Follow UK companies and connect with influential people in your field
- Share your work and seek feedback
- Follow and contribute to discussions on events, especially those that you can't attend in person
- Express your personality
If you have a Twitter account, remember to check your oldest tweets. Our opinions evolve, so if you feel like you no longer stand for something you said a long time ago, it might be better to erase those tweets. Furthermore, it would be best to get rid of the messages where you expressed any negative emotions about your previous workplace or criticised your colleagues.
In case you want to continue using Twitter as your personal diary, the best option would be to make your account private and manually approve people who can see your posts.
Although both platforms are trendy nowadays, Facebook and Instagram might not be the best social media sites for your career.
Unless you work as a social media influencer, you probably use these sites to comment on other people's posts and share your life updates, personal photos, and videos.
To ensure potential employers won't see what you don't want them to see, review your privacy settings and check your activity log. You would be able to view everything you've done on Facebook and Instagram and whether or not it was public.
If you are into blogging, this could potentially be a great advantage that helps to set you apart from other candidates. You can use your blog to demonstrate your field of expertise, your interests and passions.
Having a personal blog is an amazing tool for showing your individuality. However, don't worry if blogging is not something you are comfortable with - you don't need a personal blog to get hired.
Similar to the previously discussed social media websites, make sure that your personal blog doesn't contain any information you don't want to be known about you.
Social media Dos and Don'ts
Now that you know which platforms you should pay special attention to, let's discuss what kind of content you should and shouldn't be posting.
As a general rule, your social media should reflect who you are as a person. But having too little or too much personal information can be harmful to your career.
Aim for the balance between being your authentic self and demonstrating your professionalism.
Avoid making these social media mistakes:
- Don't post references to illegal drugs and heavy drinking
- Don't post provocative or inappropriate photos, videos or information
- Don't make discriminatory comments related to race, gender, sexual orientation and religion of other Internet users
- Don't use offensive language in online discussions
- Don't talk badly about your previous work, former boss or colleagues
- Don't show bad communication skills and poor grammar
- Don't share confidential information from previous employers
Take these actions to improve your online presence:
- Keep an up-to-date record of your professional life
- Include your background information that supports your CV
- Showcase your professional image on platforms, such as LinkedIn and Twitter
- Demonstrate your unique personality and strong traits
- Post positive and educational content
Social media plays a great role in today's world. The majority of employers use it for checking candidates' background information and examining applicants' behaviour online.
Therefore, before you start your active job search, you should conduct a little 'social media audit'. Go over and update your accounts, delete any unwanted information and start posting interesting content.
If used wisely, social media can become a great tool that can set you apart from other job seekers by aligning your professional skills and experience around your personal story.