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Is your social media helping or hindering your career path?

September 20, 2023

If you are looking for a next step in your career, your social media profiles can be a power for good or for bad. Amanda Coulson, owner of SVC solutions, picks out the dos and don’ts of your online social life.

In days gone by, keeping an up to date and polished CV was the way we shared our work experiences and a résumé of who we are with a future employer, but times have changed.

Of course your CV is still a very important part of the formal job application process, but in the modern world there is no avoiding the fact that if your name is one that ends up on the shortlist for a job role, there is a high likelihood that at some point that name is going to be punched into Google to see what the world wide web has to say about you.

And when that happens, the hard truth is that if your social media feeds are full of pictures of last Friday’s night out on the town, this could have a negative impact on your chances of securing the job.
Keeping on top of the output on your social media is now an essential part of a candidate’s job search and to do that well you should really see all of your active social media platforms as an extension of your own personal brand.

Like it or not, people form opinions based on the information they receive, both consciously and sub-consciously, and our social media platforms often provide a very personal insight into who we are as people. As you scroll through your online social profiles and you think to yourself, ‘would I like this to be seen during my job interview?’ that should give you a good indication of what thoughts might be going through an employer’s mind if they search you up online.

Apart from the stereotypical oversharing from an overindulgent night out, which actually in isolation may not cause a problem, there are some warning signs that a prospective employer might be alarmed by if they happened to appear as they scroll.

One thing that is likely to catch their attention is any reference to your social relationships with work colleagues in previous roles. This can be an advantage if you are clearly positively engaged with former co-workers as friends, but if there are negative comments or opinions expressed about people you work with, whatever the circumstances, it is unlikely to reflect well on you that these have ended up in a public forum.

Strongly held opinions around contentious issues such as politics, religion and relationships is also likely to come under scrutiny. While we are all entitled to our own opinion, concerns may be raised if your social media platforms suggest you are overzealous in sharing your feelings around those opinions.
More than anything, your social media presence does give a reflection of how you interact with other people, and as such it is a useful tool for an employer looking to make an assessment of someone’s personality and character.

For a job seeker, it is certainly wise to be aware of the way you are presenting yourself on these platforms and where possible give those the same attention to detail as you would your CV.

For more tips on how to improve your CV or how you might take the next step in your career, visit https://svcsolutions.co.uk/recruitment/

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