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In today’s hyper-connected world, companies monitor applicants on social media before, during and even after the interview process. According to a recent survey from Bullhorn, the global leader in recruiting software, 98 percent of companies use social recruiting and monitor social media profiles of applicants. 

“Social media can be useful during a job search, allowing users to tap into a myriad of networks and uncover connections and opportunities that otherwise may not have surfaced,” said Ian Avington, director of career services at Everest Institute Houston Bissonnet. “But if used incorrectly, social media can also hurt the success of job searchers and prevent potential career opportunities.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey found that in many industries, hiring peaks in early summer, so it’s particularly important now for recent grads and other prospective applicants to be aware of easy and avoidable social media faux pas. Ian Avington offers several tips to keep in mind while job hunting.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

  • Be careful about what you and your friends post — While most applicants know the importance of not posting controversial pictures or content on their own feeds, employers also take note of content posted by users’ friends either on the applicant’s feed or even the friends’ own feed. 
  • Set privacy settings — Job search aside, setting privacy settings is a good safety rule of thumb. While on the job hunt, it’s important to set privacy settings to prevent your online presence from being overanalyzed and even misinterpreted. 
  • Keep pictures professional — This tip applies not only to pictures you and your friends post during your job search, but also to those posted last month, last year and long ago. Embarking on a job search is the perfect time to clean up and remove pictures of yourself that might be interpreted as inappropriate or questionable. 


  • Avoid clutter — Similar to a resume, a LinkedIn profile should be easy to read and include purposeful and succinct points about past experience and what you can offer in the workplace.
  • Maintain a “quality over quantity” mindset with connections — Two good questions to ask yourself when making connections on LinkedIn is “How can this person help me?” and “How can I help them?” Before connecting with acquaintances for the sole purpose of connecting, consider what you have in common and if this will play a role in your job search.

Story courtesy of Claire Turner, The Richards Group