How social media can make or break your job hunt

In this day and age, most people will have experimented with social media, with many having one or more accounts that they update regularly. While posting pictures of a night out with friends may seem perfectly innocent, if prospective employers catch sight of something they don’t like, then it could cost you the job. This is why social media can inadvertently make or break your job hunt in the facilities management industry.

Why do employers look up candidates online?

While you may expect an establishment in the facilities management sector to base their decision whether to hire you on your CV, covering letter, a test completed or on how you display yourself at an interview, you might be shocked to find out that many facilities management teams look up their preferred candidates online, to get a glimpse of who they are outside of the professional environment. With many of us hearing about or finding job advertisements through social networks nowadays, who are we to complain if a company takes a look at us, just like we have probably inspected their information and statuses on sites like LinkedIn or Twitter?

Though some would argue that LinkedIn is specifically designed for making business connections and finding out about companies and the staff who work for them, are recruiters crossing a line when they start to venture onto predominantly ‘social’ sites like Facebook or Instagram?

Keeping your private life private

Regardless of how you feel about this situation, if you have a public Facebook profile, or even have mutual friends at the company you intend to work for, offering visibility into your private life, then you are inviting anyone to take a look at what you have been up to. Remember also that this applies to everything on your account, from old posts that were once funny to photographs that you might now feel ashamed of. The key message here is not to remove your social media presence altogether, but to assess your accounts and censor anything that you personally would not want a prospective employer to see.

If your social media accounts regularly display behaviour that is very different to what the panel of interviewers saw, or that puts you across in a negative light, then that might cause them to worry about your sincerity and your suitability for their post.

It’s not all bad though…

On the contrary, not everyone’s profiles will be filled with controversial content and not all employers will be easily offended by someone having fun in their personal time, but it is useful to note that professionals might be interested to know about your true character including your interests, hobbies and groups that you are actively involved in. As such, your open profile might even work in your favour when it comes to finding work.

Many people hiring for the facilities management sector will be influenced by seeing a social media account that displays a likeable personality and one that will fit in nicely into their team.