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Social media searches increasingly popular hiring tool

There have been some well-publicised stories of employees being reprimanded, or even losing their jobs, over ill-advised posts on social media. Calling in sick and then posting photos of yourself at a festival, making negative comments about your boss, or just generally spilling company secrets for your friends and family to see have all resulted […]

By Alex Graham on 09 Jul 2015
Read time: 2 minutes

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There have been some well-publicised stories of employees being reprimanded, or even losing their jobs, over ill-advised posts on social media. Calling in sick and then posting photos of yourself at a festival, making negative comments about your boss, or just generally spilling company secrets for your friends and family to see have all resulted in disciplinary action.

Those who work for themselves may think that they are immune from the problems that employees have with their social media usage, but what you post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ could hamper your chances of landing a contracting job. A recent survey from one of the UK’s largest job sites, CareerBuilder, has learned that potential employers are likely to check the social networking sites of potential recruits whilst considering their applications. Over 400 employers were surveyed, of whom 62 per cent confirmed that they check Facebook, with other social media sites also being scrutinised including image sites such as Instagram. Nearly half said that they performed a basic Google to research candidates, with a further 11 per cent planning to start doing so in the future.

Perhaps more worrying for those who don’t consider such things when they post their thoughts on social media, around 42 per cent have uncovered something that put them off hiring a candidate so much that they did not subsequently offer them a job. The kind of content that potential hirers found off-putting when searching candidates’ profiles included: posts about drinking or drug use, posts which demonstrated poor communication skills, uncovering lies about their qualifications, lying about absences from work, negative posts about former employers or colleagues, discriminatory comments and even references to criminal activity.

It is not all bad news though as many of the employers surveyed have discovered something on a candidate’s profile which have made them more enthusiastic about hiring them. Some of the things that encouraged recruiters to hire a candidate included: information which supported their claims about their education and qualifications, evidence of a candidate’s creativity, a profile which conveyed a professional image, references from other people and a general good feeling about a candidate’s personality based on their posts.

What people tell recruiters when they know their words are going to be scrutinised can only go so far towards telling someone about their personality, but the insights that can be gleaned from social media are becoming more and more important to those who want an idea of the person behind the CV. For those who are keen to present themselves in the best light to potential clients, keeping their social media profile as professional as possible could be incredibly important.

If you are considering working for yourself and want some advice on how to keep your finances in good order as well as making yourself an appealing prospect to clients, then a dedicated freelancer accountant can help you to ensure you save yourself time and money. Call us today on 01253 362062 or email us at contractoradvice@nixonwilliams.com.

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We will never share your data with anyone without your permission. Read our Privacy policy to see how we use your data.