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Avoiding social media pitfalls

As soon as you have sent in your CV you can be sure that a prospective employer will be looking you up on social media. Althought it can be a wonderful place to show off your skills and document your experience, social meda is fraught with dangers for job-hunters. Recent research from YouGov shows that one in five employers has turned down a candidate because of social media. Wendy at RecruitAbility has some advice for candidates on how to avoid social media's pitfalls. 

Employers view social media as a potentially more honest portrayal of your character so be very careful what you post. Before applying for a job you should check through your social media profiles and ensure nothing is publicly available that could damage your search. 

Never use offensive language

According to YouGov, the number one thing that employers dislike is the use of aggressive and offensive language. You should never post anything abusive or discriminatory and check through any comments of conversations for casual use of offensive language. 

No drunken photographs

Employers are likely to be put off by drunken or otherwise inappropriate photographs or by mentions of drug use. If there are any on your profile remove immediately and check your friends' content for any incriminating tags. 

Watch your political activity

Being involved with politics can show an employer that you are engaged with the world but you should be careful. Political communication can turn aggressive very quickly, especially on Twitter, so you should avoid combative posting and always communicate in a respectful and measured manner. Remember that employers may not appreciate your political views or may find the strength of your convictions concerning. 

Don't overshare

Employers value confidentiality and are likely to be wary of anyone they think might be indiscreet. Try not to moan on social media as that will present you in a negative light and never, ever criticise your current employer. 

Use proper spelling and grammar

If you have sent in a good CV with correct spelling and grammer employers will be surprised to see you talking in text speak or communicating only with emojis on social media. 

If you can negotiate these few pitfalls social media is a wonderful way for you to demonstrate what an excellent employee you would be. Our next blog will give some advice on how to create a first-class LinkedIn profile. 

Posted on Monday Dec 4