Recruiters look at social media profiles

Top 5 Things Recruiters Look for in Your Social Media

Ten years ago, people were advising each other to make sure that their social media profiles were appropriate (or private) enough to be safely viewed by potential employers.

Nowadays, things are different. Social media has become one of the main tools for recruiters, so more than simply having acceptable profiles, you should have employable profiles.


What makes a profile employable?

You may think that an employable profile is one that is devoid of any fun, humour and, well... personality.

This is not necessarily true. It’s important to bear in mind that employers aren’t looking for robots without character that will follow orders unblinkingly. They want someone they can spend nine hours a day in an office with. 

On your everyday social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc...) your travel photos will count in your favour, as will a clear sense of humour, interesting hobbies, statuses in different languages , pictures of you smiling and other people clearly reacting positively around you.

On LinkedIn it is slightly different. Keep it relevant, of a professional (but not robotic) tone and, above all, positive. 

Don’t be afraid to show your personality, hobbies and sense of humour but remember there are things that turn employers right off.


What makes a profile unemployable?

There are certain things that employers look for when they manage to locate you in the depths of the internet.

5 things recruiters look for on social media


Here are the top five things that they are on the lookout for:

  1. Poor communication skills: This is probably the thing that they will notice most quickly. If a hiring manager reads a status of yours which is totally riddled with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, then they may think twice about hiring you.
  2. Drink and drugs: Any evidence of using of drugs or drinking alcohol is a clear decision maker for many employers. Clearly, a glass of wine with you boy/girlfriend in a beautiful location won’t do much harm but...use your discretion. Just remember that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram don’t notify you when someone has viewed your profile...
  3. Provocative or inappropriate content: That means videos, photos and statuses. You may be very proud of the all-body tan you got by visiting all those nudists beaches but future employers will not appreciate seeing your bronzed behind. 
  4. Bad-mouthing previous employers or colleagues: I have always been of the attitude that expressing strong opinions on social media is dangerous ground. No matter how frustrating or unfairly you feel you have been treated, sharing it on the internet can only work against you.
  5. Discriminatory comments: Expressing prejudice or dislike for certain types of people, cultures, religion, sexualities or gender etc. is a one way ticket to the discarded pile. Nobody can tell you what to think or how to feel...but they can advise you that it will lose you jobs if potential employers discover it on social media.

Staying underground is not a good strategy

It is understandable to assume that if you are so at risk of losing a job opportunity just because of your social media habits, then it could be better to just not have social media.
If a recruiter or employer is unable to check you out on the internet before offering you a job then it gives them a better idea of what to expect. By checking social media profiles they dramatically reduce the risk of wasting time on a candidate that they don’t want in their company. 

37% of recruiters check social media

If employers can’t find you, they don’t have the opportunity to check that you’re not a racist alcoholic with an unhealthy obsession with knives.
You should at least have LinkedIn. If they can’t find you on LinkedIn then not only do they feel that disappointment in not finding you, but you also come across as someone who isn’t up to date in terms of the professional world...

People don’t realise what a huge role social media plays in the recruitment process. You may have already lost jobs due to what you published online, and you may never know.

Screening a candidate’s social media profiles can be a very effective way to trim down a huge number of applicants in an increasingly competitive world. 

By brushing up on your online persona you give yourself a serious advantage over those who were unaware of (or didn’t believe in) the importance of social media.  



Oct 5, 2017 by Ema

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Some good advice and nice to know that employers are looking for someone with a sense of humour ;)

posted 2 years ago by Louise

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Thank you, Louise.

posted 3 months ago by The ELJ Team

Yep, social media is very important, not just for job hunting!

posted 2 years ago by Helen

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posted 3 months ago by The ELJ Team

I agree to pay attention to these points, but neither should we go further, since we have the right to distraction, communication and free expression.

posted 2 years ago by Denisse

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Thank you for sharing, Denisse.

posted 3 months ago by The ELJ Team

Good to know :)

posted 2 years ago by Silvia

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Thank you, Silvia.

posted 3 months ago by The ELJ Team

Well, it is important to not just a career but social media activities too...

posted 2 years ago by Mariusz

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posted 3 months ago by The ELJ Team

I had no idea how important social media was for my application. I always knew about behaving but had no idea it would actually be relevant to provide my accounts.

posted 2 years ago by Rosita A

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We are happy to help!

posted 3 months ago by The ELJ Team

Thank you for this post! Quite helpful, clears up questions for me!

posted 2 years ago by Deepa

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You're welcome, Deepa.

posted 3 months ago by The ELJ Team

Very good to know about the role of social media.

posted 2 years ago by Immanuel

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We think so too!

posted 3 months ago by The ELJ Team

Got some ideas how to improve my profiles!

posted 2 years ago by Maria

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We are happy to hear that!

posted 3 months ago by The ELJ Team

The equation is quite simple and logical: you can't expect to be one person at work and another outside for sooner or later these gaps will be found and may play against you as future jobs opportunities are concerned.

posted 2 years ago by Antonio

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Thank you for sharing, Antonio.

posted 3 months ago by The ELJ Team


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