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Have you ever thought how your social media posts could be costing you a job?

Tuesday 20th February 2018

Read our 6 top tips for job seekers

Looking people up online is normal. We look for a partner on Jdate, ask for recommendations for bar mitzvah DJs on Facebook, reply to tweets on Twitter, and research employers on LinkedIn. Everyone’s at it.

“Employers actually tell me they check job applicants’ Facebook profiles.” says Victoria Sterman, Chief Executive of Resource, the Jewish community’s unemployment support service. “They regularly admit to rejecting applications because of what they’ve seen online.”

It’s not always negative, though. David Chernick, sales expert and coach at, also hears first hand from employers and some job‑seekers how social media helps. “Sure, employers avoid hiring people who might embarrass or harm them. But they love showing me social media profiles of candidates who’ve impressed them! A good LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram profile will help a job‑seeker.”

Last year, a YouGov survey found that one in five employers have turned down a candidate because of social media.

1. Use it, don’t misuse it!

Like it or lump it, employers do look you up on social media.

Chances are you’ve seen how misuse of social media has hurt someone’s job prospects. Have you seen Jack Maynard’s public apology when I’m A Celebrity axed him from their show? That was because of what he’d posted on Facebook when he was 17.

But, if you know what employers like and hate, then you can use social media to your advantage! You’ve got to be on it to use it, though.

2. Get a social media audit

Want to know what your future employer can find out about you easily and for free? Sit down with a friend or an employment adviser and ask them to show you your profile pages on their phone or laptop. That’s an easy and free way to see what your profile looks like on someone else’s phone. Of course, actual feedback from a friend could well be different – and maybe not as helpful – as feedback from a professional and objective employment adviser.

What would an employer think of your profile photo – the first thing they’ll see? Is it a photo of someone looking happy and positive? Or is it of someone doing something inappropriate?

David Chernick says, “Lots of organisations and individuals ask me to help them write bios, straplines, websites, and brochures. I always put myself in the shoes of their buyers. How would an employer judge you from your bio? Is it a description of someone they’d like to hire? Or is it something outlandish or untrue?”

What would an employer think of photos you’re tagged in? Are they of someone behaving badly or even illegally?

And what would an employer think of your posts? Are they ranting, racist, homophobic, sexist, or otherwise abusive? Or are they generally pleasant?

Ask an honest friend or expert if your profiles could be in any way off-putting to employers.

3. Friend and follow

Jewish people, like any affinity groups, have embraced social media. Facebook groups are some of the most popular ways for Jews to connect, share experiences, learn about events, and help each other out.

You know about challah‑recipes on ShabbatUK and bagel wars on JWD6, right? Join and connect with 1500 thousand job‑seekers and employers! Better still, join over a dozen groups dedicated to Jewish job‑seekers.

4. Enchant more than rant

Employers dislike rants. It feels good to get things off your chest. And maybe we’re helping others by highlighting bad behaviour. But, as Victoria Sterman has learned, “Rightly or wrongly, employers reject applicants who rant because they find them unattractive and imagine they could be difficult to work with. Whilst people who rant can be great problem‑solvers, employers usually don’t see it that way.”

So, if job prospects are important to you, check how many of your posts could seem like you are complaining.

5. Spam isn’t kosher

We’re not talking processed meat, here. Posting daily that you want a job is annoying. Why? Because it’s all “Me… Me… Me…” And we tend to scroll past anything that looks like an advert or self-promotion. You don’t want to appear desperate and given the masses of information our eyes and brains consume daily make sure your posts count.

But how often is too often? The answer depends on what social media platform you’re on – weekly posts on Facebook are probably about right, whereas Instagram and Twitter can handle more – and the type of work you’re looking for – regular posts might even help with marketing jobs.

6. Use search and join in the conversation

“At its best, social media is… well… social.” says David Chernick. “One of the best ways to find job opportunities and get interviews on social media is to actually talk to people.”

But how do you find relevant conversations? TREACL’s David Chernick: “Simply by tapping on the search icon [the magnifying glass on Facebook groups, the search bar on LinkedIn, etc] for a relevant job - ‘admin’, for example – the first comment I found was from an employer trying to hire admin assistants within the last 2 days! It’s that simple! Yet most job‑seekers don’t do it.”

Resource’s Victoria Sterman adds: “There’s so much help available for job seekers on social media that, if we’re aware of how we come across, and make full use of things like the search function, a job can be just days away.”



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Resource - The Jewish employment advice centreAddress: 8 Dancastle Court, 14 Arcadia Avenue, Finchley, London, N3 2JU
Tel: 020 8346 4000

Registered in England Number 5211299 Charity Registration Number 1106331
Funded by voluntary contributions and supported by Jewish Blind and Disabled

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    14 Arcadia Avenue
    London N3 2JU



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Registered in England Number 5211299 Charity Registration Number 1106331
Funded by voluntary contributions and supported by Jewish Blind and Disabled

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