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15.01.2020

YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT

It’s not uncommon for an employer to conduct their own background checks, all with the click of a mouse. And, there’s no denying social media is more powerful than ever, but how do you ensure your digital presence is employer friendly?

Ever wondered if businesses and interviewers actually look at your social media accounts? Or, is it just an urban legend? Well, recent research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that not only have 84 per cent of employers recruited via social media, 43 per cent of employers screen job candidates via looking at their social media accounts and search engines.

As a nation of social media addicts and scrollers, being mindful of what you’re putti ng out into the world is important – after all your post might not just been seen by your nearest and dearest. It’s very easy to screenshot a post and share it far and wide, with a simple throwaway comment on having a bad day at work reaching your boss.

This doesn’t mean that social media is completely off limits when looking for employment, creating a digital footprint to be proud of is simple.

SAVVY SHARING

Anything you post online can come back to haunt you with serious implicati ons, especially if you’re on the job hunt. Only post images, send Tweets or share a status that you would be happy for a prospective employer to see.

Recruiters and employers aren’t trying to find negati ve things about you, they are getting a picture of who you are beyond your CV.

STAY POSITIVE

Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends, family and get their support, especially if you have had a bad day, but be aware of the negative messages you promote online. Sharing a status or posting a

comment that paints your employer in a bad light will get back to them, even if your account is private.

Your mum was right when she said if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. You never know when a post could be shared with someone connected to your employer. When sharing online, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

BE RELEVANT

If you claim to have a passion for a certain job or industry, it might be hard to believe if you aren’t engaged with its community. Utilise your social media channels to occasionally share things that are relevant and show you are interested in the sector.

These posts shouldn’t saturate your social feeds, even joining a local interest group about the industry is a good start. Employers want you to have a work life balance, but still be excited about what you do in the office.

MAKE IT PRIVATE

Take the time to check what’s public on your social media. Ensure your profile is set to friends only then log out to see what can be viewed publicly. If you have separate private and professional accounts, make sure they are just that. Save any photos of your latest holiday or night out for your private page and double check it can’t be found aft er some digging on Google.

SHARE YOUR SKILLS

Your social media is, aft er all, social and not solely about your work interests. Always share the positive things you are doing outside of work, this could make you look more desirable to a prospective employer.

If you have recently started volunteering, are fundraising for a charity or achieved a goal you were working towards, use your social media to shout about your achievements – this could aid you in the workplace or be valuable to an employer.
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