If you’re on the hunt for a new job, the first thing you think to do might be to spruce up your LinkedIn page. While that’s always a good idea, a new study from the job search website Simply Hired suggests that there’s somewhere else you should tidy up first: Instagram.
Simply Hired’s survey found that while 29 per cent of hiring managers looked people up on LinkedIn, 38 per cent of them checked out an applicant’s social media accounts.
In most cases, hiring managers and recruiters are looking to see if you’re likely to be a culture fit for the position. We’re all typically a bit more relaxed with what we post on social media versus what we share on a professional site like LinkedIn, so a manager could discover that you’re into baseball (great for the company team!) and like to volunteer tutoring kids in your spare time or they could learn that you spent last weekend blackout drunk at a keg party.
Obviously, whether or not a manager is going to look you up on social media and what they might be concerned about varies by profession, but if you’re looking for a new job it’s a decent idea to presume that the hiring manager will be checking you out and either lock everything down until you’ve got that new gig or use those accounts to your advantage.
Victoria Whiting, internship director at the marketing form Agency H5, told Fast Company that “Instagram is a great place to showcase your eye for cohesive imagery, brand development, engaging content, and clever copywriting.”
So, if you’re applying for a new gig where something like your photography and design skills matter, then bumping up the relevant content (and hiding the inappropriate stuff) could help give you a competitive edge.
If you’re applying for jobs in a technical field, try posting some relevant stories with a bit of your own insightful commentary. If you’re looking for a job as a chef at a restaurant, double down on posting pics of some of your delicious at-home creations.
That doesn’t mean you need to make your social accounts all work focused, showing you’re a well-rounded candidate with varied interests can be a good thing. Just make sure the interests you’re showing don’t include how good you are at keg stands. Look at your accounts and ensure everything is something you would feel good about your potential new boss seeing, and either delete or hide everything you’d rather keep private.