Social Media

Is Your Social Media Helping or Hurting Your Job Search?

Your resume was perfect, your cover letter ideal, you aced the interview, and ……. crickets.

You expected the offer, but it never came. What happened?

Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager – with dozens of resumes to review they wonder how you will fit in with the team. Sure, they can check your references, but let’s be honest, do you put someone on your reference list that will give you a bad review? They google you, find your social media accounts, and the true you (or what they perceive to be the true you) comes to light. Late-night party pictures. The political article you posted. The rant about your neighbor. Have you considered that your social media could be hurting your job search?

According to CareerBuilder, over 70% of companies use social media to research candidates. A January 2020 article in Inc. states that 54% of employers chose NOT to hire a candidate based on content in their social media profiles.

The top three reasons for not hiring a candidate are:

  1. Posting provocative or inappropriate photos or videos (39%)
  2. Posted information about drinking or drug use (38%)
  3. Discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion (32%)

On the other hand, the same article says 44% of hiring manages DID hire a candidate based on their social media profile with the top reason being the profile supported the candidate’s professional background.

Take the time to clean up your social media. Portray yourself as the person you really want your future company to see. Use social media to your advantage, to help in your job search.

“Google” yourself

Search your name in Incognito mode for Google and Private Mode for Firefox, Safari, and IE so your personal browsing history doesn’t affect the results. Using these modes will show you what everyone else sees, rather than results targeted to you. You may find an old social media account you forgot you had (and may want to delete) or a blog post you wrote that you should highlight on your LinkedIn account. Make sure your search puts you in the spotlight rather than leaves you in the dark.

Review and Revise

Review Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other platforms you are or have been on. Remove accounts you no longer use. Delete questionable posts or pictures. Look over the pages you like, groups you are in, comments you have made, and posts you have shared – do they represent you at your best?

Groups or pages you followed years ago may no longer be relevant to you, get rid of them. Consider making your accounts private if you use the platform in a more casual way. Restrict who can tag you in posts or pictures. Be aware of who can see your posts and require approval before others tag you.

Use social media to advance your job search

  • Yes, even Instagram can help you land a job. Use Instagram in a more casual way to show your personality, post a campaign you were part of, highlight your photography skills, and follow companies you want to work for. Use #hashtags to focus in on your search and attract recruiters.
  • LinkedIn is the obvious platform to connect with professionals and network for career opportunities. According to, 92% of recruiters have hired through LinkedIn. It’s where we look for jobs, research companies, and share business news. Therefore, a large chunk of your time should be spent optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

Sell yourself.

Post with a purpose.

Get Hired.

Learn more about job searches during Covid-19, virtual networking, salary negotiations for women, and if you get the job, now what?

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