Reviewing the spelling and layout of your CV is not the only thing you should check before applying for a job. Social media accounts and your general online profile are often checked by employers on receipt of a CV, and should also be inspected before you apply.

Why do I need to check my social media accounts?

Employers are increasingly searching online to gain further insight into a potential candidate. One of the first things the HR manager will do when a CV lands on their desk is to use the contact details to begin an online search. Are they a family person? Do they like to party on the weekend? Do they have a professional profile on LinkedIn?

“According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 43 percent of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

Saige Driver, Business News Daily

Although you would expect and hope that an employer would base their hiring decision solely on the skills and qualifications of the candidate, their choice can often be influenced by what they find online.

“What your social media says is being increasingly used by potential employers to weed out those they don’t like the look or sound of before the interview stage.”

Interview Cheat Sheet for The Telegraph

For that reason you should ensure everything about you online portrays the right image.

Here’s a guide on how to check your social media before applying for a job…

Google yourself

Before you check your social media accounts you should Google your own name to see what comes up. It’s likely that your Facebook and Twitter accounts will pop up, but you never know if there is something else you were not aware of.

There could be an old account that you’ve forgotten about that you don’t use anymore. An old profile may not project the image you’re looking for, and could be deleted before an employer spots it.

“If you’d like a thorough analysis of your online reputation, background checking sites like BrandYourself.com provide feedback about search results for your name and will help you fix any issues you have.”

Lauren McAdams, Kununu

Check your photos

If your online accounts are accessible to the public, you may want to check for any inappropriate photos. Or anything that could leave an employer scratching their head wondering if you have the right personality to join their company.

An employer could easily come across your Facebook profile and find pictures of your crazy nights out. Getting drunk on a weekend may be your business and completely separate from your career, but it may come across to an employer that you are a bit on the wild side.

“Your friends may find these photos funny, but they could spell bad news for your job prospects. Obvious unflattering photos would include those where you’ve had too much to drink or are doing reckless activities.”

Sam Woolfe, Glassdoor

Consider deleting or making private any photos you don’t want an employer to see, or that could project the wrong image. If you are happy for your profile to be accessible to the public, consider keeping family photos and create a positive image.

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