Top ten tips on how to use social media to improve employability

If you are hunting for a new job, chances are your prospective employers are going to investigate your social media profiles. 

According to Jobvite’s 2015 Recruiter Nation Survey, 92 per cent of recruiters now use social media in the recruitment process, so what are some simple do’s and don’ts on when you’re looking for a job.

1.What is your email address?

This may not seem social media related, but using an email address can be a good way to find someone’s social media profile.  So if you have sent your CV off using your ‘’ email address, which is linked to your Twitter, but think you’re safe because your name isn’t on your Twitter profile, then think again. Secondly, most employers and recruiters ask for CVs to be emailed to them nowadays, so if you haven’t got a simple, professional email address, you could make yourself look unprofessional before they have even read your CV.

2. How many social media profiles do you have?

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?  What about the old MySpace account from when you were a teenager, or a Bebo that you set up and then forgot about?  If you’re still using your social media accounts regularly, there’s no harm in keeping them, but for any that you don’t use anymore, it’s time to delete.  After all, if you’re looking for a job as a professional, but there are some questionable, drunken photos of you from your first ‘lads holiday’ to Ibiza, the opportunity for you to make a bad impression before you’re even shortlisted is still there!

3. Are your social media accounts public?

What I mean by this, is can anyone view your social media accounts?  If you’re looking for a job close to home, even by allowing ‘friends of friends’ to have visibility of your profile could mean that a potential employer could be one of those ‘friends of friends.’ Of course, this doesn’t really matter if you think that your private use of social media could not be seen to represent you in a bad way to anyone, but for many people it’s safer to keep work and out of work separate in the online world.

4. Relationships

If you do choose to allow public visibility to your profiles, think about how public you want to make your personal relationships. Are you the type of person to ‘air their laundry’ in public?  Do you think that posting about break ups and fall outs will make a good first impression, or should this be kept private?

5. Mentioning your current workplace and colleagues

Even the most cryptic of work related comments can leave an obvious negative impression with a recruiter.  Similarly, if you are constantly posting about how you can’t wait until 5.30, or the weekend, or how you hate Mondays, it’s not going to look too good.

6.What kind of person are you?

Whether you like it or not, people will make judgements about you based on what you post, share, like and favourite on social media; whatever you are doing, is a representation of who you are.  So – what do your actions say about you?  And which are safe to be in the public eye?  Charity work, volunteering, fundraising, celebrating successes (such as exercise goals or a new car) and showing that you care about friends/family/pets are all things that are likely to make you look like a positive person.

If there’s something that you are particularly proud of, or something that you feel best represents you, pin it to the top of your profile so that it is the first thing that recruiters will see.

7. Be kind

Do you respond to footballer’s fowl with an abusive tweet?  Or do you only use Twitter to ‘troll’ other people or complain to brands?  These things are not likely to look good!

8. Is it okay if you didn’t say it?

If something is inappropriate, offensive or discriminatory but you just found it funny and liked/favorited it, is that okay?  Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is no.  Not only will what you like be displayed on others’ timelines for sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, but your favourites are recorded on your Twitter profile account.  This means that recruiters could still see that you have interacted with the post in question and take offence, and even worse than that, you could actually end up losing a job that you already have.

9. Market yourself

All of the tips above are to suggest ideas of how you could make yourself look your best.  Another way that everyone can market themselves is by using LinkedIn to advertise what it is that you are looking for.  For example, if you are a student looking for a job in fashion, list the types of role that you would like on your profile and even in your job title caption.  Recruiters use LinkedIn to search for people that are looking for jobs like ‘Junior Fashion Buyer’ or ‘Merchandising Assistant’, so by putting yourself out there, you are more likely to be found.

10. Are you even on social media?

Some people understandably steer clear of social media altogether, but as well as keeping up with new and old friends, social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can be helpful for positioning yourself as an expert in a particular industry or sector.  If you’re not on social media, you could be missing out!


About the author

Ian Lewis, is a employment and corporate law specialist from Bray & Bray, you can contact him directly at

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