Managing Your Online presence

Social Media Basics

  • Most people use social media to communicate
  • It can be a fantastic tool to connect with people personally and professionally
  • Many employers are now using social media sites to promote opportunities and screen candidates

How do Employers Use Social Media?

​According to a recent study of 1600 employers conducted by Jobvite:

  • 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts
  • 78% of recruiters have made a hire through social media
  • Of those recruiters that use social media, 94% use LinkedIn, 65% use Facebook, and 55% use Twitter

How Employers Respond to Candidate's Social Media

  • 92% of recruiters used LinkedIn to vet candidates pre-interview, and 31% use Facebook to vet candidates pre-interview.
  • In addition, 35% use Facebook to vet candidates post-interview, and 18% use Twitter to vet candidates post-interview
  • When employers were asked how they would react to possible items discovered upon reviewing a candidate’s social network profile, employers responded most negatively to references to doing illegal drugs, posts/tweets of a sexual nature, profanity in posts, spelling/grammatical errors, references to guns and picture of consumption of alcohol

What this Means for You

  • Assume everything you post can be accessed by an observer
  • Ensure that your privacy and security settings are on maximum, and be selective as to who you accept as a friend or follower
  • You may wish to alter your name on social media tools that you would not want an employer to find you on (typically Facebook, others as well)
  • Online information can be saved/cached and it’s very difficult to delete anything that you post online
  • You need to keep your profiles updated, positive, and professional
  • Avoid posting anything negative about your employers or colleagues
  • Ask yourself “how would I defend this post in an interview?” before you post anything
  • Keep all pictures online respectable. They don’t all have to be professional but be aware that what you post or what your friends post could be connected to you in a visible way

LinkedIn Tips


  • Have a complete profile that you update regularly
  • Ensure that your header statement quickly captures your goals and what you have to offer
  • Clearly articulate your duties for any position
  • Have a professional looking headshot
  • Ensure that your privacy setting allows employers to find you


  • Add all of your professional contacts
  • Personalize every LinkedIn request message
  • Behave online as you would inperson. Always use please and thank you!

Sign up for the AA&CC LinkedIn Job Search workshop and set-up an appointment with a career counsellor or career strategist.

Last update: September 2014