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Don’t let your social media presence hamper your job search

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Don’t let your social media presence hamper your job search

​When searching for your next opportunity it’s important to make sure all touchpoints that prospective employers will encounter are professional and reflect your personal brand. Often seen as a controversial and outdated practice, the reality is upwards of 70%* of all employers regularly check social media profiles during the recruitment process and factor this into their decision on whether to interview or hire a candidate. Ensuring your online presence is adding value rather than detracting is crucial when job hunting.

Here at CoLegal we have seen social presence impact employment outcomes a handful of times. Our key recommendation is if you have content on your social pages that you wouldn’t discuss or show an employer in person, remove it. With the legal industry being relatively conservative consider removing content that may fall in the below categories:

• Provocative or sexually explicit photos, as an potential employer may feel this does not reflect their brand

• Sharing views that may be considered controversial

• Content that may bring your behaviour outside of work into disrepute e.g. drunken and disorderly behaviour in pictures and videos.

General best practice is to ensure your privacy settings limit visibility to those you aren’t connected with and review historical content to ensure there are no wildcards visible. Social channels are all viewed differently by employers and we explore how to utilise these individual channels for your benefit in your job search.


LinkedIn is viewed as a professional channel and is an extension of your resume. Use this as an opportunity to enhance your credentials by having an up to date profile, sharing insightful content and utilising the recommendations and endorsements functionality to help showcase your skillset.


While acknowledged as a personal site this is a very common place for employers to review. Ensuring your page is only accessible to those you know is sensible. It is also crucial to review what others can see on your page, namely photos and posts that you have been tagged in. You can go one step further and remove your profile from appearing in Google searches.


Considered more for personal use, Twitter however does offer the opportunity to create a favourable impression of who you are and what you stand for. Depending on your use of Twitter it is possible to hide information including your tweets, tweets you are tagged in, accounts you follow and who follows you; and don’t forget to ensure your bio is appropriate.


Acknowledged as a personal profile, it is still very common for employers to review Instagram pages. Instagram provides a lot more control around what is posted on your account and can be kept very private.


Quickly becoming a popular social media platform that savvy employers are reviewing, ensure your videos are appropriate and remember if it’s something you wouldn’t be comfortable repeating in the workplace; lock it down or remove it.

Appropriate and considered use of social media can give your employer a true sense of who you are and insight into what it will be like to work with you. By following our guidelines you will be best placed to harness socials for your future employment, rather than be hampered by your online presence.

Contact our expert Legal recruiters to discuss how best to present your social media profiles and options for the next step in your career.

*Source: Careers NZ