x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Beware potential employers watching your social network posts

Beware the next time you consider making a post on a social network about any wild weekend exploits.

Managing your online brand well could help you secure that coveted job. Dado Ruvic / Reuters
Managing your online brand well could help you secure that coveted job. Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Be careful the next time you consider making a post on a social network about your wild weekend exploits.

A survey by Bayt.com suggests more than two thirds of employers, 70.5 per cent, have changed their mind about a candidate based on their online presence.

And nine out of 10 respondents turn to the internet to search for people they have just met or are about to meet, according to the study.

However, only 41.5 per cent of companies that took part said they always research potential recruits online before hiring. And about a fifth said they sometimes do so.

“The large number of companies that research candidates makes it more essential than ever for a candidate to have a professional and appealing online presence on a leading professional careers’ platform with significant regional inroads in order to secure a job,” said Suhail Masri, the vice president of sales at Bayt.com.

“In fact, even something as simple as a photograph could influence decision-makers, with eight in 10 respondents believing their online photo affects how they are perceived.”

Managing an online brand could be done in a few simple steps, Mr Masri said.

Deciding on your message and sticking to it is key, he added. “Another great thing to think about and decide upon is what you’re good at professionally, as this will help you develop a message.

“Choose a few elements and make sure they show across all your activities on the web.”

Making sure your online presence is always professional and consistent is also important, as is getting your opinions verified by “likes” from friends and colleagues.

But knowing what you should not do is equally crucial in managing your online brand.

Including an unprofessional picture is top of the list, followed by listing false information, being vague, failing to manage your brand and not managing your privacy settings correctly.

“It is important to search for yourself online, update your social media profiles and hide inappropriate photos or posts from public view, because chances are employers will be Googling your name at any stage of the hiring process,” added Mr Masri.

gduncan@thenational.ae