Employers are turning to search engines and social networks as a form of pre-screening candidates. This means potential employers could be checking out what you are doing online and how you present yourself! Sometimes such screening is done as early as the application phase before candidates are interviewed and the vast majority of employers perform such screening post-interview and before appointment. This makes your online presence very important for your employability.
If you have inappropriate content on your social media or anything that portrays you in a negative light it can really affect your job prospects. Check out the pages in this guide to make sure you do not fall for this trap!
Things to be aware of
Some of the points below may seem obvious, but the issues can sometimes be quite subtle and it is easy to make a mistake. It is also important to remember that even though you may be responsible online, others may not. For this reason, monitor what contacts write on your profiles, be careful with what content you share from other’s profiles and make sure you can trust anyone you send something sensitive to.
Most of these principles will apply to everyone, although some may be context specific. For example, if you’re applying to work as a pro-gun lobbyist in America, appropriate references to guns are probably not a bad thing. Likewise, opinionated and political comments may work for many political jobs. Just make sure they are appropriate to the context. The message is that while these principles work for everyone in a general sense, make sure you adjust them for the context you are in.
Opinion, politics and spiritual views
Harassment or bullying of others
Lies and inconsistency
Poor grammar and spelling
Keep the shorthand and text speak to texts. If you are posting anything publicly, think about how it represents you. The same principle applies to any form of professional communication. If potential employers see poor spelling and grammar on your online profiles it raises questions about your language abilities.
Turning your online presence into an asset
OK. So there are a lot of things to watch out for! While this can make online social media look problematic for employability, it can also be a great asset. Employers are looking for tech-savvy graduates. Check the other useful pages:
Careers and Employability Service:
These pages were developed in collaboration with the Student Futures. The Student Futures Team support all University of Hull students and graduates with all aspects of their career from finding out what you can do with your degree to practical support with interviews, psychometric tests and assessment centres. For more information, check out their website
Lies icon by Fonte (CC BY-SA 4.0) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:True-Lies.png
Fancy dress icon based on photo by Cmglee (CC BY-SA 3.0) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cambridge_Fun_Run_Scooby_Doo.jpg