Hays NZ on Twitter

Self-sabotaging jobseekers: Using social media inappropriately

543541 - unsplash

Updated: 05 Sep 2018

Jobseekers continue to undermine their job search by using social media inappropriately, says recruiting experts Hays.

Engaging in a flame war, an online profile at odds with details in a CV, and profanity-filled content are just three issues that potentially cost people job opportunities.

“Your online activity can have an impact on your chance of securing a job, particularly if it’s offensive or contradicts the professional image or experience you are portraying to hiring managers,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.

“We live in a digital age and most employers review a job candidate’s social profiles before inviting them in for an interview. This gives a hiring manager a more detailed insight into a candidate’s skills. The most popular platform is LinkedIn because it brings experience to life and tells a story about your career and what you are looking for. But jobseekers should also expect that any social profile that comes up in a search will be reviewed.”

Nick cites the recent example of expletive-ridden tweets that cost a woman a NASA internship. “When online, assume that everything you post could be viewed by a potential employer and used as part of their decision making process,” he said.

According to Hays, the most common social media mistakes made by jobseekers include:

  • Experience that does not align with details provided in a CV;
  • Badmouthing a previous employer;
  • Inappropriate or risqué content;
  • Aggressive threads or engagement in a flame war;
  • Discriminatory sentiments;
  • Failing to fully utilise social media to build a professional personal brand.

Instead, Hays advise jobseekers to:

  • Use LinkedIn to build your personal brand. Just remember to keep your profile up-to-date by adding details of recent projects, new skills and your latest achievements. Add links to your work throughout your profile. Use a professional profile photo, build a network of relevant professional contacts and post frequently;
  • Sync your online presence and LinkedIn profile with your CV. Even a small discrepancy will raise red flags that could lead to you being removed from a shortlist, or at the least asked detailed questions in an interview;
  • Use Instagram to follow an organisation and gain an insight into their company culture. You can also show your passion for your industry by posting pictures at trade shows, events or networking groups, or visits to relevant offices or facilities;
  • Use Twitter to demonstrate your interests and expertise. For example, tweet about a webinar you found informative;
  • Assume anything you post online is accessible by a potential employer, even if you update your privacy settings. If you wouldn’t want a hiring manager to see it, don’t post it.


About Hays

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

For further information please contact Adam Shapley, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand, on adam.shapley@hays.net.nz or +64 (0) 9 375 9424.

linked_in_social_media_online_share.pngHays is the most followed recruitment agency on LinkedIn in the world. Join Hays’ growing network by following Hays Worldwide.

twitter_social_media_online_share.pngYou can also get expert advice, insights and the latest recruitment news by following Hays on Twitter @HaysNewZealand