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The Many Ways Social Media Impacts Job Applicants

Updated: Jun 11

Cell phone screen display with social media icons like Facebook and Twitter and also the words "Social Media" along the top.

Social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives but how important is it for work? While it offers great opportunities to connect and express yourself, it's essential to recognize that employers are increasingly turning to social media platforms to evaluate and screen job applicants. In this blog post, we'll explore the growing trend of employers scrutinizing candidate socials, discuss the pros and cons for job seekers, and deliver valuable advice and tips to successfully manage your online presence.

It's no secret that social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram have transformed the way we communicate and interact.

According to recent surveys, around 90% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process.

Moreover, almost 70% of employers have found content on social media that led them to either dismiss a candidate or doubt their qualifications. Whether we like it or not, the information we share and opinions we make public online follow us and have staying power far greater than the comments we make in person. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to consider the information, opinions, and thoughts we share publicly; and you can always decide to keep your profiles private as well.

The impact of social media on job seeking opportunities can give you a chance to show an employer more of your personality and interests in addition to showing off your skills. Because you control what you make available, social media can be a perfect place to highlight your work-related skills and areas of expertise, call out relevant accomplishments, and establish your credibility and industry knowledge.

By creating a professional presence on social platforms, you can curate a strong online brand to showcase your achievements to potential employers.

Another area where social media can be very powerful is networking, current company employee referrals, and endorsements. It also gives you the opportunity to join relevant groups, engage in industry discussions, and connect with other professionals, recruiters, and mentors.

You’ll also want to make sure that your socials aren’t working against you. Be careful what you post on social sites and ensure that content, language, and images are work-appropriate. Since potential employers might question your professionalism, avoid posting or sharing what could be considered questionable content and/or remove it from your profiles. Privacy controls can be leveraged to this end but remember that nothing posted online is completely private. Make sure that your bio and profile picture reflect your professional intentions as well; this is an easy update. Some platforms are geared towards professionals like LinkedIn which is a great place to establish a strong work presence.

Use a professional headshot and craft a compelling headline and summary to highlight your skills, experience, and career goals.

Remember to keep this updated, even once you’re working… it’s easier than having to go back and make changes the next time you want to make a career move!

Social media can be a double-edged sword but with some dedicated management, it’s nothing to fear. Besides the benefits we’ve already talked about, social media can let you engage others in your field and actively contribute to professional discussions, stay informed about industry news, emerging trends and technologies, and also help showcase the work you’ve already done to demonstrate the great value you bring to the table. By proactively managing your online presence, curating a professional image, and leveraging the power of social media, you can gain and maintain a powerful advantage.

Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash


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