For Gen Z and millennials, if you do not have social media, you might as well not exist. This means most people, even those falling outside of these generations, have some form of online existence.
While sharing your life on social media with your friends, family, and even strangers is innocent enough, people can often over-share and reveal things that might compromise their careers.
This can include displaying wild antics, such as indulging in copious amounts of alcohol, hard partying and taking drugs.
With all this being public, recruiters can take a look at your content and simply discard your job application.
“Make sure that the pictures you’re posting on social media are not those of you partying all night long, falling over with drinks, or half naked. It will not give a good impression. So, just be mindful of what you post,” says VGP Recruitment’s consultant, Tamara Wolpert.
The expert says what you put out on the internet will be there forever and will not go away; even if they are things you said when you were young, they can still be brought to the surface.
South African background screening company Managed Integrity Evaluation echoes Wolpert’s view and performs social media screening for its clients.
According to the company, with millions of active social media users in the country, social media can be a useful tool for employers in acquiring and screening a potential candidate. This is because such screening can provide valuable insights into the candidate's public and online personality, including past and current behaviour.
“Social media profiles present a wealth of information on users, and the analysis of this can be used to identify any potential red flags around a candidate’s suitability to the business’s culture prior to and post-appointment. It can also be leveraged to gain a deeper understanding of employees’ career and personal aspirations.”
Here are Wolpert’s other crucial tips for job seekers:
“When you’re looking for a job, sometimes it's not what you know it’s who you know. Reach out to contacts or people in the market who can possibly assist you.”
Thoroughly read the job description
A lot of people look at the title of a job, and jump to applying but don't read the role’s description.
“It is important to read and determine whether your skills and experience are relevant. Be cautious, and only apply to roles that are relevant to you,” Wolpert said.
Your skills should match what you’re applying for.
“Make sure your CV speaks to the role that you’re applying for. If you don’t have those skills, don’t send it in because it can get very disheartening to get rejected all the time.”