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Careful with your social media profiles

by Blake Forrester 6/6/2011 12:00:00 PM

If you're looking for a job, you probably know that your reputation can precede you. Contacts and networking are great tools to get your foot in the door for an interview, but any positive marks on your side can quickly be negated by inappropriate content posted on social media websites. Take into consideration the fact that over 70% of employers are now running Internet searches on candidates, and 35% have said that they have passed someone over because of the contents of their social media profiles. It's obvious that what you post online can have a big impact on your ability to find a job.

So, what is and isn't acceptable when it comes to social media and your job search?

Explicit photographs are obviously out, but so are photos that border on explicit and "okay." That picture of you in a bikini? You might want to save it for the fridge. Drunken college photos are popular to post online, but employers aren't going to be laughing. Keep them in an album commemorating your college life, and pull them out to remember old times when your college buddies come over. There's no need for the world to know about your bad decisions.

Remember that a recruiter can see what you post online, so if you're going to tell them one thing and list another on your social media profile, you're in trouble. Planning to pretend you're currently employed in hopes that it'll boost your chances of getting hired? A potential employer will see through your scheme as soon as they see you boast of your free time on your profile.

Using excessive profanity or making jokes that include racial slurs are not going to gain you any points, either. You might come off as a polished professional in the interview, but if your social media profile shows you as uncouth, you can probably say goodbye to the position.

Think changing your privacy settings is a ticket to saying whatever you want online? Think again: first of all, everything on the Internet is recorded, and second, you don't know if someone on your "friends" list might be connected to a potential employer.

If you want a heads up to see what recruiters see when they search for you online, search for yourself. Make an effort to keep your private life private, and maintain your social media profiles by keeping inappropriate material out, including in comments made by friends.

When used in a responsible manner, social media can help you get a job, allowing employers to see your positive qualities and letting you network.

You can find even more tips to assist you in finding your new job by downloading our free Ultimate Job Seeker’s Guide from The Ultimate Job Seeker’s Guide is packed with help from cover letters to growing you professional network. It’s a great tool for job seekers in any field.


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