The web now plays a huge role in the recruitment process for both employers and for candidates. With the increasing popularity of online CV searches, digital portfolios and online job boards, the recruitment process has firmly shifted into the online domain.

The internet offers increased visibility and ease of application, but it can also carry some risks. While many people actively monitor their online presence and are conscientious with their privacy settings, others are much more lax when it comes to their online profiles.

In their search for the perfect candidate, it’s not surprising that many employers will turn to the internet for help in sourcing and researching candidates. They’ll not only be searching for a CV that fits their particular criteria, but they’ll also want to find a person who fits well with the outlook and the values of their organisation.

This is where your online interactions could let you down and sound alarm bells for a potential employer. No matter how strong your CV is, if an employer finds your online presence inappropriate/offensive – you could be jeopardising your chances of landing the role or even getting an interview. As people continue to live out their daily lives via social networking, it’s very wise to adopt a considered and cautious approach to your online postings – especially when seeking work.

Six golden rules for a good online presence

  1. Always activate your full security settings to help ensure that only personal, approved contacts can access your information.
  2. Be careful of who you accept as your friend/follower/contact. Make sure you actually know the person or have some trusted affiliation with them.
  3. Be selective with the photos you choose to post online and monitor the ones that others post of you. If compromising images of you pop up online, it could reflect badly on you and impact the employer’s perception of your suitability.
  4. It could be wise to keep professional networks, such as LinkedIn, for career-related activity only and not link them up with your personal, more social accounts. As this is designed for professional networking, casual updates, tweets and comments are best kept separate.
  5. Although you have freedom of speech online, avoid bad-mouthing fellow colleagues, your current/ex-boss or the company you work for. Of course, everyone needs to let off steam once in a while, but an outburst on the web may not be the best option. Any employer would be wary of someone who airs their work frustrations in this way and you can never be completely sure of who’ll see your posting (friends of friends etc.).
  6. It goes without saying that foul language, inappropriate remarks or insults that are visible online will not put you in the best light.

For more tips on your job search, visit our career advice area now.

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