Image 2023 03 07 T00 14 19
Image 2023 03 07 T00 14 19

Social Media Recruitment: Is your online presence a red flag?

Social Media Recruitment: Is your online presence a red flag?

Posted on 7/03/2023 by Caitlin Ielasi


With a background in marketing and communications, and four years in recruitment, I have seen how online content can shape impressions.

According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 57% of respondents said they discovered content that caused them not to hire a candidate, and 40% said inappropriate photos, videos or information were the leading cause. While not all recruiters check a candidate's social media profile, 7/10 admitted to including this in their hiring process.

More than ever, employers are using these platforms to understand more about a candidate's character before offering them a position. If you are looking for work or a current role, ask yourself if you would hire yourself.

Content to avoid

  • Improper photos, videos or information 

  • Drinking or drug use

  • Discriminatory comments about race, gender, religion or sensitive issues

  • Information linked to criminal behaviour

  • Lying about qualifications 

  • Defamation and sharing confidential information about a previous employer or fellow employee

  • Having an unprofessional screen/profile name

  • Lying about a work absence

Would you hire yourself?

So, head to a social media profile like your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. You can click 'view as' on most social media platforms, indicating what your profile looks like to the public eye. Or, try using private browsing mode/incognito and searching yourself to see how you appear online. Then, ask yourself, is there any publicly available content on the avoid list?

Audit your accounts 

Most common social media platforms allow you to adjust the visibility of publicly shared content. Furthermore, they will enable you to change content so only a particular group / or contacts can see your information. 

Control your Online Visibility

  1. Facebook

  2. Instagram

  3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn does not support standard visibility functions and is the largest online professional network, typically used to find jobs and demonstrate your skills, experience and credibility. 

Google You!

Last, check. Using the private browsing steps above, google your full name and see if anything inappropriate appears. If you have not published the content directly, contact the website/author and request removal. 

Social media has many benefits, including connectivity, building your brand, a forum for ideas and self-expression and instant access to news, information and education. However, using these platforms, especially without controlling your visibility, can make or break your chances of landing a job.