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Facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr and other social media sites have taken the world by storm over the last ten years. I don’t think there is one person I know who isn’t subscribed to one or more social media sites. As I sit on the train 5 of the 6 people around me are engrossed in their mobile phones – no doubt thinking of some witty status update or tweet so they can inform the world of their whereabouts or what they are having for dinner. #thanksforsharing.
I have worked in recruitment for 6 years now and I think I have been a member of some sort of social media website for the entirety of my career. After a long week at work, we often can’t wait to let our hair down at the weekends, and why shouldn’t we?! The fine line comes however, when considering what is appropriate to put on your social media profile and what isn’t. Yes – it may be your personal space to air your views, have a jolly good rant, or post photos of the weekends antics, but one should always be mindful of who else may be looking.
Research conducted recently has shown that 55% of employers who look at their candidates social media sites have seen something they don’t like that has caused them not to offer the job to that candidate. 55%! That is a shocking figure that should make us think more carefully about what we put on those profiles. Drinking and drug use feature at the top of the list for reasons why employers have rejected candidates to join their businesses. The research has also found that 48% of recruitment consultants use social networking sites to vet future candidates. I certainly do, and I know a number of my colleagues do – and I am pleased to say that I have very very rarely found anything less favourable on my candidates sites, but it is certainly worth bearing in mind what is sensible to put on there and what is not.
Social media profiles are personal, and this research is by no means dictating what people should and shouldn’t post online. However in an increasingly difficult employment market, the difference between you securing your dream job, or your CV being placed on the rejection pile, could be as simple as keeping your weekend antics a little more private rather than posting for the world to see.