Avoid these 5 social media blunders when job hunting

No matter how locked down you think your social media accounts are, there’s always the risk your current or future employer will see something that you’d rather they didn’t.

Recruiters are increasingly viewing social media profiles to screen candidates prior to hiring, which means it’s important to manage your online reputation if you’re on the hunt for a new job.

So, if you know there are a few dodgy pictures of you lurking about from your uni days or questionable status updates after one too many vinos, you may want to do an online audit of your digital footprint before applying for your dream role.

Here are 5 social media blunders to avoid when job hunting.


  •  Posting inappropriate pictures of yourself

While you and your friends may find the picture of your post-tequila face hilarious, it probably isn’t the way you want to come across to potential employers. Pay particularly close attention to the profile picture you use as first impressions are nearly impossible to reverse or undo.

Don’t be like the teacher who was suspended after tweeting about smoking weed and posting pictures of herself twerking half naked. You’ll never be taken seriously.

  • Moaning about your job

Nobody likes a Moaning Myrtle, but it can be difficult to stop yourself blowing off steam when you’ve had a bad day at work. Updating your status slating your job or your manager may seem harmless at first, but it could end up costing you your job or making you look unattractive to future employers.

One former Argos worker was sacked in 2011 for moaning about his day at work after coming back from a two week holiday. What seemed like an innocent grumble to family and friends soon ended up in front of his boss. Yikes.

  • Revealing confidential information

Just as slating your job can get you into trouble, so can revealing too much information about where you work. You must remember that some details, such as the processes and procedures where you work, are to remain private – as should any details of your clients or customers.

Rachel Burns, a former care home manager, found this out the hard way when she posted a photo on her Facebook page revealing the identity of some of the residents of the care home. Posting too many details about work can be extremely off-putting to recruiters who are looking for someone trustworthy and discreet.

  • Making disrespectful or distasteful posts

Let’s be honest, we’ve all laughed at something and immediately questioned whether it makes us a bad person. Sure, humour can be found in the most morbid of situations, but these instances are best kept under wraps. If you’re found laughing and joking about sensitive topics online, it could be seen as a huge red flag to employers.

Six HSBC bankers in Birmingham were fired over re-enacting a mock ISIS beheading and posting it on Instagram. The super-insensitive clip, made on a team-building away-day, probably started off as a joke between colleagues without them realising how disrespectful they were being. If there’s even a tiny part of you that tells you something isn’t a good idea, listen to it.

  • Don’t pull a sickie unless you’re actually sick

Whether you’re suffering from a bad case of the Monday blues or nursing a hangover from an impromptu Wednesday sesh, it can be tempting to pull a sickie rather than drag yourself out of bed. If you dare call in sick when you’re not technically ill, make sure you avoid posting anything on social media that could reveal the truth behind your absence from work.

An intern at the Anglo Irish Bank claimed he had a ‘family emergency’ when in reality he skived work to attend a party. And of course this got back to his boss. The moral of the story? Don’t take any pictures or pose for any when you’re supposed to be at work!

It’s not a secret that most employers scan social media profiles of applicants before offering an interview, which is why your use of social media can build or ruin your chances of landing the job. If you’re looking for a change, you need to take your online presence very seriously before circulating your CV.

Once your social accounts have been cleaned up and locked down, take a look through our current job vacancies or give the friendly team at Ambitions a call on 614841 to see if we can help you advance your career.

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