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Have you ever Googled yourself?

No? Well perhaps you should. Today, recruiters and employers alike are conducting social profiling on potential employees. What does your online footprint say about you? If you’re actively in the job market you should seriously consider the image your social media profiles portray about you. A picture is worth a 1000 words You’ve probably heard the saying and it’s true. We’re all quick to make snap judgements and your choice of profile pic may negatively impact your job prospects. Whilst it’s not necessary to go to the extent of having a professional photo shoot, you should ensure that your profile [...]

No? Well perhaps you should.

Today, recruiters and employers alike are conducting social profiling on potential employees. What does your online footprint say about you?
If you’re actively in the job market you should seriously consider the image your social media profiles portray about you.

A picture is worth a 1000 words

You’ve probably heard the saying and it’s true. We’re all quick to make snap judgements and your choice of profile pic may negatively impact your job prospects. Whilst it’s not necessary to go to the extent of having a professional photo shoot, you should ensure that your profile pic is appropriate. Rather opt for a head & shoulders shot that shows you off to your best ability. Definitely avoid anything that could be construed as too sexy, too goofy or too aggressive.

What’s in a name?

Most of us have a personal email address that we’d use when applying for work but have you ever stopped to think about what you’ve chosen? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. are definitely going to raise some eyebrows and not in a good way. If you’re able to, rather choose for something simple like your name and surname. If this is not possible, then opt for a moniker that does not conjure up negative or controversial thoughts in the mind of a potential employer. The same goes for your choice of handle/username in the realm of social media.

Measure your words

Platforms like Twitter are entirely public and you should be extra careful about how you use this. Avoid anything that is controversial such as religion, politics or sex. Keep things professional because even if you think it’s cool now, you will no doubt regret it in later life. Things that get online are there forever!

Other social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook have privacy settings – use them. If you’d not like to have your social life broadcast to the public and potentially used against you in your job search, switch your settings to private. Whilst it’s never ok for an employer or recruiter to hack an account or force you to “friend them” in order to gain information, if it’s in the public domain it’s fair game and can be used for the purposes of employment screening.

Your rights

When working with recruiters or applying directly to employers assume that they will check you out online. Considering this, be sure to do what you can to keep your online profile squeaky clean. Of course, you have rights too and you should know the following:

  • It’s never ok for a recruiter/employer to force you to hand over your login details; and
  • You are not obliged to “friend” anyone from work or who is trying to recruiting you, but if you do, remember that you’d best watch what you say or post.

DMC Firewall is developed by Dean Marshall Consultancy Ltd