11 things you shouldn’t put on social media if you want a new job

11 things you shouldn’t put on social media if you want a new job

LinkedIn is the social platform you use to highlight your professional skills, experience and success stories; there’s a reason recruiters utilise LinkedIn as a way to connect with individuals who may be interested in a vacancy. Therefore, the things you post on this specific platform are most likely very different from interacting with other social media websites like Twitter and Facebook. 

With that said, it’s safe to assume that if a hiring manager is going to snoop through your social media profile, it will be your LinkedIn account, right? 

Wrong. 

What social media platforms do hiring managers look at? 

LinkedIn is only the second most popular social media platform used by hiring managers as part of a recruitment drive. Our recent survey revealed that Facebook is the most popular choice, with 79% of those surveyed using it as part of the hiring process. 

LinkedIn was the next most popular option, used by 51% of hiring managers we spoke with. Twitter came in third with 50%, followed by Instagram being used by 44% of those surveyed. Tik Tok was the least popular option, used by only 17% of our respondents.

How many employers check social media before hiring?

We surveyed 1,005 UK-based recruitment managers, and just shy of half of them (48%) stated that they carry out social media checks on candidates when hiring. Of those surveyed, male respondents (55%) were more likely to take this route than female hiring managers (43%).

How does your social media affect your next job? 

What you post online can directly affect your chances of success when applying for a new job, particularly if the person or people leading the interview actively check your profiles before meeting you. 

If you don’t want social media to ruin your chances of job success, refrain from posting about the following, which, according to our survey, puts hiring managers off candidates:

  • Drug use – according to 58% of those surveyed
  • Racist comments – according to 57% of those surveyed
  • Sexist or homophobic comments – according to 52% of those surveyed
  • Negative posts regarding previous employers – according to 50% of those surveyed
  • Swearing – according to 37% of those surveyed
  • Images of, or references to alcohol consumption – according to 36% of those surveyed
  • Openly discussing your dating or sex life – according to 31% of those surveyed
  • Poor spelling and grammar in your posts – according to 23% of those surveyed
  • Engaging in political debates – according to 22% of those surveyed
  • Promoting a side hustle – according to 13% of those surveyed
  • Inactive accounts – according to 2% of those surveyed

Additionally, you can post whatever you like on social media so long as it is within the platform’s guidelines and in line with social media law. However, if you engage in threatening, incredibly offensive or defamatory messages or behaviour, you may find yourself convicted of a crime.

Depending on the nature of your online behaviour, a DBS check may reveal social media convictions. An employer is well within their rights to renege on a job offer based on the information surfaced via a DBS check.

Is a social media background check legal?

It is legal for hiring managers to scour social media profiles during a recruitment drive; however, it must be done cautiously. If you feel in any way discriminated against, you may have a case against them. 

What are some social media guidelines to follow when applying for jobs?

In addition to refraining from the activities listed above, we also recommend setting your social profiles to private. That way, unless a potential employer sends a friend request, it will be difficult for them to find the information they are looking for.

We also recommend going through your profile and deleting anything that you think could cause concern if a potential employer sees it. Remember that just because you have deleted a picture or post doesn’t mean it disappears entirely. They may still be found, so erring on the side of caution and not posting at all is your best option. 

Finally, before posting or uploading any images or videos, ask yourself how you would feel if your current boss saw this. If you don’t think they would react well, chances are a future employer wouldn’t respond well either.

Care Check processes more than 130,000 DBS checks annually across a wide variety of sectors.