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Job Hunters - avoid these social media mistakes

Recruiting for PR & marketing communications at Reuben Sinclair, we are well aware of the importance of Social Media in the industry. Virtually all PR candidates we engage with have vast experience in designing and implementing Social Media campaigns for their clients. PRs and marketing professionals understand how far reaching social media is, and how vital it is when conveying a message. All of this poses the question, why when it comes to job hunting, do candidates often forget about the messages they’re projecting on their personal social media sites?

Posted by Alexandra Lewington, PR recruiter, Monday April 7 2014

Blog image_job hunters, avoid these social media mistakes

Recruiting for PR & marketing communications at Reuben Sinclair, we are well aware of the importance of Social Media in the industry. Virtually all PR candidates we engage with have vast experience in designing and implementing Social Media campaigns for their clients. PRs and marketing professionals understand how far reaching social media is, and how vital it is when conveying a message. All of this poses the question, why when it comes to job hunting, do candidates often forget about the messages they’re projecting on their personal social media sites?

As a recruiter, one of the first things we do when finding out about candidates, is perform a web search on you. Inevitably, social media pages appear high in the search rankings. And if it doesn’t, we will find it - I’m known as the ultimate stalker in our office. Yes I know, not a nickname you want to be associated with but if you’re a job-seeker and not aware already, everyone is stalking you: recruiters, HR, hiring managers. We’re all looking at you. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Regardless of whether it is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other social media sites, it can be very revealing to see the content of someone’s personal page. Often it is very innocent – ‘look at this amazing prawn sandwich I’ve just consumed’, ‘God, I’m so tired my eyes hurt’, ‘I love my new socks’..etc. However, occasionally a post so unexpected will surface that a gasp of shock so forceful will occur that it will suck the toupee of my boss’s head. A suspect social media link can prevent a recruiter from presenting you as a suitable candidate for their client. After all, if you’re going to post controversial or incriminating content on a personal social media page, what will you do for your employer or client? MAKE YOUR FACEBOOK SETTINGS PRIVATE. Then even the ultimate stalker (i.e. me) can’t find it, and your rock-n-roll personal life won’t endanger your career.

At Reuben Sinclair, we frequently receive CVs with links to personal social media sites, especially in marketing, PR and digital communications, where candidates are keen to show off their creative skills. Links to well written blogs, and twitter feeds showing relevant & thought provoking opinions, are refreshing and a fantastic thing to put in front of a potential employer. Posts about Jagerbombs and kebab fights are not. We appreciate if your social media page is just that, a page for you to organise your social life. But if that is the case, it is simply wasting space on your CV – don’t include it.

Some Social Media dos and don’ts for a job hunter:

Do:

  • Post links to interesting articles, relevant to your industry sector
  • Showcase your written skills on blog pages
  • Talk about proud moments in your working life (I promise it’s not boasting!)
  • Let your personality shine (providing you’re not an extremist of any sort…)

Don’t:

  • Post inappropriate or sexual pictures of you or anyone else
  • Talk about how wasted you got at the weekend
  • ‘Bad mouth’ your current job/boss/colleague
  • Make spelling or grammatical mistakes (this applies to CVs too!)

As mentioned, the world of social media is a powerful one. Use it to your advantage if you are job hunting. However, if it is a private message that you wish to convey, then keep it just that: private. Live long and poke. 

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