Most of us have a multitude of social media accounts but did you know that your networking activity on social sites can help or hurt your job search. Posting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and LinkedIn are windows employers use to learn more about who you really are.

According to an article on Forbes, “probably half of all job seekers are active on social networking sites on a daily basis, and more than a third of all employers utilize these sites in their hiring process.”

Used correctly, social media can help you – research companies, connect with a wider audience (former bosses and colleagues), and stay abreast of new job openings.

Used incorrectly, social media can cause you to be rejected – are some of your posts inappropriate, overly religious or political in nature, or offensive?

Statics that speak volumes.

  • 34% of employers who scan social media profiles said they have found content that has cause them not to hire the candidate.
  • ½ of those employers attributed lack of job offers because of provocative or inappropriate photos and information posted and about 45% said they made the decision because of evidence of drinking and/or drug use (on social profiles).
  • Other reasons for lack of an offer included poor communication skills, negative comments about previous employers, discriminatory comments related to race, gender, or religion, or outright lies about qualifications.

Audit your profile on all of your social media accounts to help reinforce your professional image.

  • Review each account and delete or change the privacy settings to “private”:
  • Inappropriate images (these could be from vacations, parties, or things you were tagged in).
  • Opinions or comments on politics, former employers, or personal bias.
  • Occasionally, friends tag us. Make sure to review these posts too.


  • Establish yourself as an expert.
  • Profile photo. Blurry photos do not make a great first impression. Make sure your profile photo is a good quality picture (no swim suits, drinks in hand, or buddy photos).
  • Share content that highlights your accomplishments and/or qualifications.


  • Leverage the power of LinkedIn.
  • Fully utilize LinkedIn to unearth opportunities and let your network know you are looking for a new position.
  • Post status updates that highlight your expertise.
  • Join groups for your particular niche and interact!
  • Follow companies and influencers.

If you need more guidance on how to audit your social media presence, request Breakthrough Resume’s “Social Media Audit” worksheet. No strings or further obligation.

Tammy Shoup,

Helping You Beat Your Competitors | Positioning VPs and Managers for Jobs They Love! Shorten Your Job Search Time | Get Better Job Offers | Experienced. Trusted. 3x Certified |Expert Resume Writer |