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Encompass® Agency Insights

The Social Media Impact to Landing that Dream Job


Its hard to believe that social media is little more than 10 years old. For younger workers, it may be difficult to remember a world in which social platforms weren't such integral parts of daily life.

The fact that social media has become so ingrained in our lives can create complacency about how we manage our online interactions. The truth; however, is that social profiles have become a key metric by which recruiters and hiring managers evaluate prospective employees. Skillful management of your digital footprint may make the difference between landing your dream job — or falling short.

Why social media research has become standard among employers

According to a study conducted by, 70 percent of businesses report researching the social media profiles of job candidates — an increase of 60 percent from its last survey, in 2016.

While there's a popular public conception of employers scouring social media accounts looking for images of job candidates in various stages of revelry, the truth is that employers are looking for more than ill-advised party photos or overly candid statements. Employers use social media to help fill in the blanks and draw a more accurate, well-rounded picture of candidates.

According to the CareerBuilder survey, businesses report looking at social media accounts for the following reasons:

  • To find data that supports credentials and qualifications
  • To locate information other people are posting about the candidate
  • To verify if the candidate has a professional online presence

Additionally, more than half of employers report finding social media content that caused them to ultimately decide against hiring a candidate.

Effective social media management for job candidates

To make the best possible impression on recruiters and interviewers, it's important to manage your digital footprint effectively. The first step is to conduct an audit of your total social media presence. Review all of your accounts and assess the level of professionalism displayed. Check your photos, your comments, your tags and, just as importantly, the comments made by your friends and connections. If people are involving you in questionable posts or tags, politely ask them to stop — or enable tag approval on your platform. It's a smart idea to regularly check your social media pages as platforms frequently change their privacy settings.

You should also conduct a public search of your name to see what comes up. This can help you gain a window into the material that you have publicly displayed and the material that's locked down behind privacy settings. You should also ensure that there is no inaccurate information about you that can be easily viewed via a web search.

One thing to keep in mind is to not have your social media presence completely locked down, as this may frustrate employers or generate skepticism about what you could be hiding. Instead, make your profile publicly visible on professionally oriented platforms such as LinkedIn, and then restrict access to other networks where you spend more time pursuing social activities.

When it comes to securing job opportunities, social media is a bit of a double-edged sword. Posting unprofessional material or presenting yourself in an unflattering light can generate a serious red flag for employers, while a streamlined, professional social footprint can help create a more attractive profile to potential employers.

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