“You might have a good CV, but if your Twitter and Facebook accounts are full of evidence of drunken debauchery or what employers see as bullying and unpleasant comments you won’t make the shortlist,” advises chief executive of Northern Lights PR, Victoria Tomlinson, in her new eBook targeted at students, “From Student to Salary with Social Media.”
Tomlinson’s eBook warns new graduates of the costs their personal digital footprints may incur, urging students to clean up their social media profiles and tighten privacy settings “because employers do make judgments if they see unpleasant language and behaviour online.”
The book comes following this week’s news of Twitter trolls targeting Tom Daley and Kirstie Allsop, and former Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton closing down her Twitter account because if “bullies”, showing that teenagers don’t understand the long-term implications their online actions have.
Claire Morley-Jones, managing director of HR180, recruits everyone from part-time staff to chief executives on behalf of her clients, adds: “We do use social media to find candidates. Unfortunately, more often than not we are concerned about what we see online.
“Some of the worst cases have involved searching for potential candidates and discovering online content that involves salacious, ‘peeping tom’ style photos of a recent night out, accompanied by comments of a derogatory, insensitive and callous nature towards the participants!”
Partner in law firm Blacks Solicitors, Asad Ali, agrees saying when recruiting “we [Blacks Solicitors] definitely disregard some candidates because of what we see online.”
Tomlinson’s book was written for students, careers advisors and parents, containing practical tips and advice from employers, highlighting the pitfalls of social media but also the advantages to using it well. Classics student at Newcastle University, Sarah Larby, who read the book, commented: “It’s helped me to see where I was going wrong with my online profiles – and how to change and improve them.”