Safer Internet Day: Job hunt 'affected by social media profile'

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Media captionRecruiter Tamara Lewis says her first port of call is LinkedIn

"It's absolutely fine having personality," said social media expert Lynsey Sweales, from Norwich.

"That's what social media is all about.

"If you are looking for a job or using social media as a business you obviously need to think how it is going to look from an employer's or another businesses' point of view," said Ms Sweales.

"But if you're not prepared to say something to someone's face, don't say it."

Ms Sweales was talking to Inside Out East ahead of a BBC survey due to be published on Tuesday as part of the BBC's Share Take Care campaign.

Sharing your personality online can have a major impact on your chances of employment - whether you are changing a job by choice, or needing to seek new work after redundancy.

Following a career in motorsport PR, former rally driver Fraser Jones, from Essex, was made redundant and wanted to move into marketing.

"I wasn't really getting anywhere," he said.

"It was a case of 'if it's motorsport I was fine'.

"But anything corporate-based or anything outside of that I just didn't get a look-in.

"It transpired that people were having a look at me online to see what information they could get and they were finding a lot more about motorsport and so they just disregarded me."

'Digital footprint'

Mr Jones was forced to change his digital footprint by taking down his web page and changing what he posted on Twitter.

"Changing my digital footprint was the only way I could get in front of people to show I had the experience and the ability to do the job," he explained.

Image caption Expert Lynsey Sweales said keep potential employers in mind when presenting a profile

And, just a month after changing his online profile, Mr Jones started getting interviews and eventually landed a job as marketing manager at global training company On Track International.

Background 'important'

Tamara Lewis, a recruiter from global digital PR firm Waggener Edstrom, explained how important an online presence has become.

"I would say my first port of call to identify new talent is LinkedIn and it has changed the way I recruit," she said.

"Very often I will do an initial interview with someone based on their Linked In profile while I'm waiting for them to send me their CV.

"I think it's important to find out a little bit more about people's backgrounds and find out where their interests lie.

"But obviously this would be in line with our normal recruitment process."

The full national survey results will be revealed as part of the Safer Internet Day events across BBC television, radio and internet on Tuesday.

The week-long BBC Share Take Care campaign, in partnership with the UK Safer Internet Centre, is being featured to raise awareness of issues surrounding safeguarding reputation online.

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