With today’s jobs market being ever so competitive, it is now more important than ever that candidates give themselves the best possible change of being found by employers, which increasingly have to sift through vast amounts of CV’s to find those they deem fit for interview.  With this in mind, many employers seek to ‘weed out’ candidates quickly and effectively and will increasingly turn to Google to accomplish this. The internet has made it increasingly easy for employers to conduct a simple name search to red flag any online misdemeanours by candidates under consideration.

So with a record 1 in 4 employers using the internet in this way, how can job seekers look to protect themselves from negative search results that could ruin their chances of landing a job?

Below we have some of the top tips available to job seekers to build a positive online presence:

  • If you are going to post to social media sites like Facebook/Twitter, as a general rule, never write anything that you wouldn’t want your family to read. Any language or comments deemed offensive by employers will more than certainly ruin your employment chances.  Twitter is an open platform giving strangers the chance to view and read any of your tweets. Most hiring managers look through such platforms to see what people are saying. Also bear in mind that your tweets will also show up on a Google search, so think carefully about what you write.
  • Avoid bad mouthing former or current colleagues or bosses. This is an obvious one, employers will look to see if you are able to work harmoniously in their organisation, if you are seen as disruptive and akin to airing your grievances publically you will not get the chance to work for them.
  • Remember to keep your security settings to ‘private’ so as to restrict who can actually access your personal information, this will also help to prevent potential hackers gaining access and spreading pictures or false details about you.
  • Always keep your private and public profiles separate. Consider having a personal email address for both Facebook and your Twitter accounts, but then have a professional email account that is specifically for your LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is a professional site for connecting job seekers and employers alike, so leave this for career related postings.
  • Be aware of pictures that you or others post of yourself online. Future employers will not appreciate pictures of you at the weekend stumbling out of a bar. The web is a vast place and once posted you will probably struggle to delete content that has been shared or posted to other sites.

Remember that social media is meant to be just that. These tips should act as a useful guide in helping you to network with others in a more professional manner. While the internet has helped people to connect, it is still an open public platform, where any lapse could see embarrassing personal information come to the attention of future employers that could seriously damage your reputation. Whist it is not entirely easy to control everything that is found about you on the internet, individuals can help to control what is portrayed about them more effectively, so that potential employers see them in a more positive light.

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