Skip to content

Job hunting? What not to share on social media


Whether you’re new to the job market or a seasoned professional, social media can be a powerful tool to help you connect with the right people and put your best foot forward. Sites like LinkedIn and Facebook have made it easier than ever to stay up-to-date with colleagues’ career moves and get a view of the latest activities of businesses that may interest you. 

According to Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE)’s 2021 background screening index, there was a 200% increase in social media screening requests from employers in South Africa last year. Negative comments from prospective candidates were found on Facebook, Twitter and in Google search results, and were either of a discriminatory nature, contained unprofessional content, revealed drug use, constituted misinformation or indicated potentially illegal behaviour.

The content of your social media channels could negatively affect your employer’s reputation, so use your discretion when posting and commenting online. Ultimately, the decision of what to post and how to comment can affect your future employment prospects.

Maintain your online reputation

Your online presence is an extension of your personal brand, so keeping it professional will go a long way to showing you in a positive light. A prospective employer may be less likely to make you a job offer if they find embarrassing photos or discover that you have posted negative comments about your current or past employers. 

Avoid posting content and comments that could be considered offensive, racist, homophobic, constitute hate speech, or include profanities. Rather opt for content that is interesting, whether that be sharing your perspective about industry news, uploading some info or experiences related to your hobbies and, of course, congratulating friends and colleagues on new developments in their lives

Keep your privacy in check

Ensure that you’re comfortable with your privacy settings on your social networking sites, and amend them if necessary. Most platforms allow you to limit posts to friends and family, grant permission for whether you are tagged in specific content, manage who can message you directly, and control how discoverable your account is.

Steer clear of unprofessional pics

If you wouldn’t show it to your boss, keep it off your social media platforms. While you want to show a glimpse of your life and share some of your personality, make sure your posts don’t compromise your professional reputation.

Want to discover more about how to use online media for work and learning opportunities? Add our digital life skills bot Lesedi to your WhatsApp and learn how to:

  1. Become A Digital Citizen
  2. Your Digital Toolkit
  3. Online Safety
  4. How To Make Decisions Online
  5. Create Opportunities Online
  6. Accessing Services Online
  7. Accessing Work/Learning Opportunities
  8. Laws That Protect Us
  9. Tools for the Future of Work
  10. Job Readiness

How can you start learning essential digital life skills? Just say hi to Lesedi, our free WhatsApp bot that will aid you with valuable skills for your future!