Avoid a negative online profile

As social media comes to play a growing role in personal and working life, professionals need to understand how it can impact their efforts to secure a new job. 

When an employer has a number of prospects they may search for them on social media before hiring, and this may impact their decision to interview or offer a role to a candidate.

So how can you make the most of social media in developing your career while avoiding any negative impact to your online profile?


LinkedIn is widely regarded as one of the key professional social media platforms, a place for professionals to engage with others in their field, discuss topics relating to their industry and build their online reputation.

Many employers will look at LinkedIn first to get a snapshot of a person; it’s key to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is fully completed and up to date, including your education and job history.

Use your profile to highlight key responsibilities and accomplishments in your career to grab the attention of an employer. Here are some of our key tips to ensure your profile stands out:

  • Join and contribute to groups relevant to your field.
  • Recommendations and endorsements from colleagues or previous employers can also help to make you a more attractive hire to employers. It allows them to see what others perceive your strengths to be. 
  • When unemployed change your profile to ‘actively seeking new opportunities.’
  • Ensure you tailor your targeted job alerts to occupation and location.


Most employers believe Facebook should be used for personal interactions and not professional.Most employers believe Facebook should be used for personal interactions and not professional.  Ensuring that your Facebook page is not accessible to anyone outside your social circle is a sensible precaution. Some key steps to making sure you’ve kept your profile private are:

  • Know what others can see on your page.
  • Stay up to date on Facebook’s privacy settings.
  • Make sure to keep your photographs, posts and tags hidden.
  • Remove your Facebook page from Google searches.

If you choose to have a public profile, make sure that you do not post anything that you would not be comfortable with your employer seeing. 

Even after you have a job, be cautious not to use Facebook to write grievances about your workplace. If there is something bothering you speak to your manager about the issue so they can help resolve it.


Unless you work in a marketing, digital or communications role, Twitter is also considered more appropriate for personal use.

If you do work in a sector where having a Twitter voice can be a valuable asset, you are still able to hide who you follow and who follows you by creating private lists. This will allow employers to view what you are tweeting but no details about those connected to you.

For professionals in other fields who have a wholly personal Twitter presence, protecting your account may be important. It is possible to hide personal information from the public on the platform including your tweets, tweets you’re tagged in, people you follow, and people who follow you.

Following these steps can decrease the chance of an employer deciding you’re not right for the job before even interviewing you.


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