Painful lessons learnt from social media

 Half of employers check current employees' social media profiles while over a third have reprimanded or fired an employee for inappropriate content on their pages.

Social media is one of the clearest examples of what a double-edged sword looks like – on the one hand, one can use it to promote their career and social life, and on the other, it might just be what crumbles your career and social life.

“Recruiters often review social media profiles of short-listed candidates. From this, we can get a hint of the candidate’s professional profile, achievements, social styling, interests, connections and an overall outlook of the individual. You will be amazed at how much we can decipher from someone’s social media profile,” says Sonia Raja, founder of, whose objective is to make recruitment efficient through digital talent matching technologies for employers as well as providing career guidance for job seekers.

This perhaps should come as no surprise because a 2017 study by CareerBuilder (a career website based in the US) found that 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates, up from 11 percent in 2006.

The website added that half of employers check current employees’ social media profiles while over a third have reprimanded or fired an employee for inappropriate content on their pages. Not only this, another 54 percent have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles.

The study also found that 57 percent of employers are less likely to interview a candidate they cannot find online.

Among many other factors that could be working against young people in their search for jobs include compromising photos or inappropriate comments.

“As an employee of the company, you are also a reflection of the brand,” she explains.

Another area of concern is incomplete and inaccurate professional profiles, especially on LinkedIn.

“A good LinkedIn profile with a brief description of achievements in each role with the right key words and interest areas can help job seekers connect better with employers. Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes. Being dishonest will cost you.” explains Sonia.

“A candidate submitted a CV with work experience totally different to that on their LinkedIn profile, which made us question the individual’s integrity. On contacting the supposed previous employers for a reference, we confirmed that this person had not worked at the companies they had listed.” This person was, of course, not hired.