How your social media can affect your job opportunities

Are you looking to secure a new job in 2022? Here is how your social media can influence whether you get the job or not. 

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Sad graduate/ iStock

Social media has taken the world by storm. 

It is a platform where the world gets a glimpse of who you are. Not only is it a great tool to connect with your loved ones, keep abreast of what is happening in the world, but it is also a powerful tool that can help you secure your next job opportunity. 

Potential employers are now starting to go to social media to check out potential candidates. 

Forbes reports: "Studies have also shown that 92% of companies are using social media for hiring and that three out of four hiring managers will search for a candidate’s social profiles."

Wonga Ntshinga, Senior Head of Programme: Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s largest private higher education institution, says social media is the first place recruiters go to after receiving your CV. 

“The very first thing a prospective employer will do upon receiving your CV is to search your social media profiles and peruse any other information about you they can find online,” says Wonga. 

READ: Expert advice: What not to put in your CV

Another expert, Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder, agrees with Wonga. 

"Tools such as Facebook and Twitter enable employers to get a glimpse of who candidates are outside the confines of a résumé or cover letter," says Rosemary.

AARP reports that more than two in five employers said they are less likely to interview job candidates if they're unable to find information about the person online.

So it is important to use your social media to your advantage by eliminating any potential harmful things. 

“You must do a social media audit and remove anything that could throw a negative light over your candidacy,” says Wonga. 

“Once you’ve acted to eliminate any potentially harmful content, you have to pro-actively build a positive online presence,” adds the expert.

How to build a positive online presence

Wonga says one way to pro-actively build a positive online presence is to join professional sites designed for job seekers. 

“That means joining professional sites such as Linked-In and consistently building a positive, professional personal image,” adds Wonga.

Forbes reports that as many as 68% of recruiters said job seekers needed a LinkedIn profile in 2021, and 65% of hiring managers said that they don't mind being contacted by potential candidates on LinkedIn.

So, always remember that although you are allowed to put personal things on social media, don’t put anything that can reveal negative aspects about your personality that might negatively affect your job opportunities.  

Image courtesy of iStock/ @ AndreyPopov

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