Jobseekers' social media 101

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Job-seekers have a short memory, the search engines have a very long memory.”

End Quote Andy Headworth Recruitment expert

As an experienced recruiter Andy Headworth has seen big changes in the employment world in the last few years. Online profiles and applications are now often the only way that job-seekers can reach the agencies and employers that are advertising vacancies.

Social media has also become an important part of how people are hired. Twitter and Facebook allow recruitment agencies to get a fuller picture of a potential employee's personality and interests.

At the same time, social networks have allowed agencies to reach a wider audience of job-seekers. The world of recruitment has well and truly grasped the opportunities provided by these new online services.

Creating an online profile

Your professional online profile should be written in easy to understand English. Spelling and grammar need to be immaculate, so double-check your application and get someone else to check it too if possible.

Text-speak and slang are informal styles of communication and are not appropriate when applying for jobs online.

Take control of what employers can see

One of the first things recruitment agents often do is to use a search engine like Google to uncover information about the person applying for a job.

Andy is keen to emphasise how important it is to make sure this kind of check doesn't count against you, "Job-seekers have a short memory, the search engines have a very long memory. You need to know what comes up on that first page and if there's any horror stories".

Privacy settings

Make the right impression

Recruiter reads 'My boss is a xxxxxxx xxxx !!!'
  • Be appropriate - don't bad-mouth current or previous employers online. Negativity is off-putting.
  • Be professional - make sure the first picture that comes up is one of you looking smart and presentable, not one where you look like you've been on a night out with friends!

If you are posting something that you don't want everyone to see on a social network, think carefully about the privacy settings that you have applied.

For example, on Facebook, you can select updates to be seen by 'Friends only'.

However, there is no guarantee that anything that you share on a social network will not be shared more widely.

Even if you've restricted access to certain people, comments or photographs may be copied and pasted by people in your circle of online Friends.

Andy's advice for jobseekers is, "social media is now mainstream and recruiters are using are using it every day to find people.

You need to take care about what you post online and how it could impact your career both now and in the future - because what you post online could stay there for the next few years."

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