If you are a current student or recent graduate you’ve probably being asked this question time and time again from lecturers and professionals: what does your social media profile say about you?
Victoria Tomlinson, author of new eBook From Student to Salary with Social Media, said: “Thousands of young people left university this summer without understanding what a quick Google search tells an employer about them.
"They might have good CVs, but if their Twitter and Facebook accounts are full of evidence of drunken debauchery or what employers see as bullying and unpleasant comments, then they won’t make the shortlist. And they may never know why.”
This is why Tomlinson is urging students to clean up their social media profiles and tighten privacy settings – because employers do make judgements if they see unpleasant language and behaviour online.
Claire Morley-Jones, managing director of HR180, recruits everyone from part-time staff to chief executives on behalf of her clients.
She said: “We do use social media to find candidates. Unfortunately, more often than not we are concerned about what we see online.
"Some of the worst cases have involved searching for potential candidates and discovering online content that involves salacious, ‘peeping tom’ style photos of a recent night out, accompanied by comments of a derogatory, insensitive and callous nature towards the participants!”
Asad Ali is a partner in law firm Blacks Solicitors and an active user of Twitter.
Ali said: “We definitely disregard some candidates because of what we see online, but others come over as extremely professional and engaging in their social media and that counts as a plus."
Twitter and other social networking sites can be used to a graduate’s advantage if used correctly.
Victoria Tomlinson said: “Students are surprised when we say they should have a professional LinkedIn profile. Already a third of employers are recruiting by putting jobs online and searching for people on LinkedIn with the right skills and experience.”
Tomlinson’s eBook is a practical guide for students, careers advisors and parents and contains tips and advice from employers and head-hunters as well as examples of students successfully using social media to win jobs.
Read Tomlinson’s first eBook on social media for business, Why you can’t ignore Social Media in Business, here. Her new eBook From Student to Salary with Social Media is available for only £1.02 from Amazon.