Social Media – could your profiles harm your career? What does your profile say about you?

Social Media – could your profiles harm your career? What does your profile say about you?

Are you hiding behind an online mask? How to Present the Real You on Social Media

Creating and maintaining an online presence is more relevant than ever when it comes to promoting who you are, maximising career opportunities and expanding your social network. The question is, is your social media profile an accurate reflection of you?

On social media sites, our profiles are presentations of who we are, but through societal and environmental influences, many of us are driven by competition, achievement and status – leading to the creation of profiles that portray an ‘ideal self’ and eliminating many of our ‘real’ components.

Taking time to re-evaluate your social media profile so that everything about your online persona is reflective of your offline persona is worth its weight in gold. With time, effort, energy and persistence, you can present your attributes, your characteristics and your personality in their true colours – and create an online presence that will accomplish the goals that will align your real self with your ideal self.



Just follow these steps:


A social media profile photo becomes your daily visual identity to many people in your close network and beyond – and however unfair it may seem, it plays a role in how an employer decides if they’ll hire you and how competent they perceive you to be. (Over 56% of employers check a candidate’s social media profile before hiring). If you’re looking for work in the tech industry or a creative field, looking too polished won’t serve you. Likewise, if you’re looking in the legal or financial sectors, projecting a more ‘bohemian’ image won’t help your cause. The prominence (and consequences) of your virtual image is here to stay, so making a savvy image choice is key.

Your social media profile should serve and complement your personal brand – not contrast it. If your photo looks too formal, it will appear forced and fake; the images you use should bring you to life in a relatable way, to draw out what marks your individuality – perhaps it’s a clever detail or accessory, or maybe it’s just an enviably sleek, tailored appearance. The key is to choose an image that looks like you – in a natural and relaxed setting, – one where you aren’t trying too hard but still appear confident and relatable.


Good rule of thumb – construct each public profile as if you were sharing it with your boss or prospective client. But you don’t need to be too straight-laced either. A few handy guidelines:
Facebook – be a positive and happy you. Share articles about things you like and avoid complaining, putting up intentionally vague posts or oversharing.
Twitter – keep your language clean, and be meaningful when you tweet – nobody wants to hear about your latest ailments or the person who annoyed you on the bus yesterday. Post interesting articles and start conversations with like-minded professionals – Twitter can be a really powerful networking tool.
LinkedIn – remember that this is a professional network so keep it up-to-date; treat it as an online CV to showcase your experience – and try to get a broad selection of recommendations to support it.


Using your kooky alter-ego to get yourself a job or a promotion isn’t going to work! The rules for making a good impression are the same whether it’s over social media, via email or in person. Don’t be too loose-lipped when voicing opinions on Twitter or other platforms. Save the heated political debates for another time and place. If you wouldn’t say it to a client or employer in person, then it’s not a topic for social media.


Maintain your image – you work hard to keep yourself looking presentable in the ‘real world’, so don’t allow your virtual image to let you down. Keep it current. Update your profile so that anyone looking at it will see a reflection of the real you, and when an employer does check out your credentials, there’ll be no nasty surprises.

It all boils down to presenting yourself and communicating in a way that you would in a face-to-face situation. Let your social media profile be a window for the world to discover the person you really are.


About First2Recruit 

First2Recruit, are an owner managed recruitment consultancy providing a full recruitment service including; permanent and FTC positions in Accountancy Practice and Insolvency across the UK.  

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