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5 ways your Facebook page could be stopping you getting a new job!

The Social Media phenomenon began in 1997 when a website named “Six Degrees” first launched. The site was very basic but the concept was genius; it allowed users to create a profile and make “friends” with other users. 19 years later and after the introduction of Facebook, 1.79 billion of us have a live online profile that we use and check daily, if not hourly! In some ways, we are judged more by our online social presence than what we are like in person – How many friends do we have on Facebook? How many likes do we get on our profile picture? Do we get many re-tweets on Twitter? The judgments that are made when looking us up online do not stop with new acquaintances and work colleagues! 24% of our clients actually fessed up to researching potential candidates on social media pages before making a hiring decision and some even said it has been the deciding factor between two applicants! So, how do you become a super star candidate based on your Facebook page? Follow our 5 simple tips!
  1. Private or professional? Choose one and stick to it! If you have a dry sense of humour and you know that, although you may find your Facebook status funny, your manager and colleagues probably would not, then it is time to start fiddling with those privacy settings. If you have an interview with a corporate company and the Managing Director happens to be a vegan who spends his weekends volunteering at a donkey sanctuary, they are not going to be too pleased to see a meme about fox hunting or bull fighting on your page! Controversial topics are fine between family and friends but not for the whole world to see, if you believe your page is professional then, by all means, keep it public but be careful. We were surprised to learn that 52% of the job seekers we asked had not taken any steps towards making their social media pages private or professional!
 
  1. Profile pictures are always public! A picture speaks a thousand words and, as a nation, we are becoming shallower by the day; judging people on their appearance is in our DNA! Don’t get me wrong, your Facebook profile picture doesn’t need to be a professional headshot with a forced, corporate smile. In fact a little bit of personality is a nice touch. Perhaps you enjoy holidays hence why your profile picture is you in a maxi dress, on a balcony in Tuscany holding a glass of red. This gives a very different impression to a picture of you in hot pants, on the Magaluf strip with a fag and a can of cider! Choose your profile picture wisely and try to make it convey the best version of you.
  1. Does it reflect your CV? If you are looking for a job you should always be honest about who you are. There really isn’t any point adding 4 A Levels, a BA (hons) and a Masters Degree to your CV if your Facebook qualifications section reads “4 GCSEs grades D – F and a BTEC in Life Skills”. When conducting research for this blog, a few of our client’s said the reason for searching applicants on Facebook was to see if they are who they say they are, almost using social media as a screening technique, so be consistent!
  1. Nobody likes a moaning Minnie! Sometimes we use social media to vent our anger or frustration but if this is aimed at your place of work or a boss then this could be seen as discrimination and, believe it or not, hiring managers aren’t too keen on discrimination! You may be applying for a graduate role now but what about when you worked for the local supermarket whilst at university and you posted a status about how much you hate your poxy part time job and couldn’t wait to leave? Wherever you work and whatever role you do, you are a representative of that brand and should always convey that on social media.
  1. Speak like a professional! You may use slang and swear words when you are in the pub with your mates on a Friday night but there really is no need to write your Facebook status the same way. Using phrases such as FML and OMG doesn’t exactly scream “hire me” does it? Check your grammar and spelling, someone who doesn’t know how to correctly use “where, we’re and were” is not going to be chosen for Britain’s next top administrator!
  There are 1.60 million unemployed people in the UK as of September 2016 (according to the National Statistics), how are you making yourself positively stand out from the sea of unemployed job seekers? Let’s set the scene – Imagine you applied for the job of your dreams, you got through the first and second interview and are awaiting a decision. Imagine you had exactly the same skills, experience and education as one other candidate and the hiring manager really couldn’t decide between the two of you. Picture the manager laid awake in bed one night thinking about who he will chose and he decides to have a quick look on Facebook at both candidates profiles – ask yourself, would you get the job?
April Atkinson

By April Atkinson

A proven recruitment expert. Worked with a range of clients across Leeds and Bradford from start-ups to multi nationals. Recognised for hiring all office based and management roles.
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