Social Media: Help or Hindrance? (Part 2) by Retha Du Plessis

Social media platforms

This week we are talking about and exploring social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube when you are applying for a job.  But of course, this is our norm these days – very few people do not have a social media presence, so similar to how you will be assessed during an interview, you may be being assessed on your photos, comments or posts – and even the pages or people you are following.

Tip # 2

What do you see?

Have a look at particularly your Facebook and Twitter profiles. What do you see? For the job you are applying for, do you think the company would consider your photos, comments or posts appropriate – or the pages or people you are following? If not, think about at cleaning up your profile or adjusting your privacy settings.

Set your privacy settings 

I know, this sounds like a very big undertaking as you may have years’ worth of content that cannot just be deleted, or that you do not want to delete.  If that is the case, then make sure that your privacy settings are adjusted that only your friends can see what you are posting.  Secondly, be very selective in who you add as friends and thirdly, always keep your accounts private and never share content as “Public”. Some employers will turn to social media straight away to see what they can find, even sometimes before reviewing a resume.

Your social media feeds can actually make a hiring managers decision

Now, some may even say that by blocking others from seeing your online profiles or cleaning it up, you are not presenting your true self to a potential employer. That may be true, but what you are trying to achieve here is to at least get an interview.  If your application is being dismissed solely because of your online presence, then it is highly unlikely that you will get a foot in the door even. Remember, it is their job to find the right candidate for the company – they need to do their due diligence and provide the best shortlist of candidates to the hiring manager and your social media feeds can actually make that decision for them.

Now, it is not all bad news!  Social media can be used to your advantage when you are searching for an opportunity.  Many companies advertise their new positions on their Facebook or Twitter pages, so when you have identified a few companies you would like to work with, follow their pages or posts, and maybe contribute to some positive or informative comments on their posts, this will make your presence known to the organisation and can be a powerful means of networking.


Thanks for reading – I trust this was helpful. Look out for Tip #3 next week, we will talk about the power of Google. Have a great week everyone!