Why you need to check your digital footprint

Posted on Friday, July 28, 2017 by The MSS teamNo comments


The days when a CV and covering letter were enough to win you an interview are fast-becoming a thing of the past. Today’s employers are increasingly curious and determined to find out as much as they can about a potential candidate, and the main source they use is of course the internet. But what will they find about you?

Your digital footprint can tell us more about your suitability for a role than a beautifully crafted CV ever can. Anyone can write a brilliant CV, but taken in isolation a CV is not enough to win you an interview yet what is said about you online can be – particularly when it comes to social media.

A survey conducted by Careerbuilder found that 60% of hiring managers search the social media profiles of potential new employees before they interview them, with 49% of employers rejecting candidates based on what they found.

The single most important thing to consider when using social media to help find your next position is to represent yourself in the right way. Here are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to social media usage during your job search.

Things to avoid:

Inappropriate images: Avoid uploading pictures of yourself to Facebook or Instagram for example of you partying the night away or having after-work drinks with colleagues every week. Too many of these images will see potential employers question how reliable and on-the-ball you will be when you show up for work the next morning.

Saying too much: No matter how much you dislike your current boss or job, avoid publically airing your disapproval as this will cast a very large shadow of doubt over your professionalism, ethics and respect for confidentiality. In 2011, an employee was dismissed from Apple Retail after making disparaging remarks about her colleagues on Facebook. Four years later, an employee at the British Waterways Board was fired for posting comments that included “I hate my work” and “Why are the gaffers such ******”, among others.

Not saying enough: If you’re not active on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, recruiters won’t find you. That means you could miss out on potential new job opportunities.

Being too controversial: Steer clear of being too political or opinionated, too. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion but expressing opinion that could reflect negatively on the business you are working for can jeopardise your chances of being hired by someone else.

Things you should do:

Create and update your social media profiles: Make sure your profiles are complete and represent you in the right way and be honest with yourself – if you were an employer and saw your social media profiles, would your perception of you be a positive or negative one?

Position yourself as a thought leader: Have you published articles for the local paper or trade press? Do you write for the firm’s blog or perhaps you run your own blog? These are all great way to boost your digital footprint and raise your personal profile as a great candidate that employers will want to talk to.

Focus on the ‘network’ element of social networking: How active are you on social media and how often do you engage with your online community? Who are you engaging and connecting with – colleagues across the profession as well as those in the same organisation, clients (former, current and prospective), membership organisations or even the media (local press and trade journalists)?

Ask your mother: You know when you are about to post something on social media that could potentially ruffle a few feathers. So before you click the Send button, ask yourself this: how would your current employer interpret what you are about to do and would your mother approve? If the answer is no, it’s best to keep it to yourself.

Our job as recruiters is to find the right person for the right role for our clients. It doesn’t matter if you have a CV that’s the envy of your peers if what we find about you online suggests you might not be a good ‘fit’ for our client. So manage your social profiles and position yourself as someone that recruiters and employers will want to engage with.

If you need any help or advice on how to better manage your social profile, call or email one of our Consultants today.

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