Employers are Googling you!! How social media affects your employability and your brand

04 Jul Employers are Googling you!! How social media affects your employability and your brand


•Do you have multiple social media accounts?
•What information is available publicly?
•Are you happy for a potential employer to view your social media profiles?
•What will they see?
•What will they think?


Google yourself. What can you find?


Your ‘digital footprint ‘is your online presence.


According to research (*Monash University, 2015), 89% of employers google you before hiring you. What they find, can mean the difference between being hired and being fired.
63% found positive things that reinforced their hiring decisions.
44% found negative things that caused them to land you in the ‘NO’ pile of potential candidates.
The reasons that land you in the ‘no’ pile, vary from sharing posts and content which show you sharing content which: shows you drinking excessively, using elicit substances, talking negatively about past employers, sharing explicit material, ‘trolling’ or negative behaviour, racism, sexism and also your general attitude. The content you like, share and comment on also affects your brand and the employers perception of you..
I undertake personal brand reviews for my clients as part of my higher end packages…..(which involves a google search and my findings)….and what I find is often shocking. I have had quite a few clients who have managed to shock the socks off me with what they had visible publicly…..from ‘porn’ type, OMG!! videos they had shared on Facebook (which I can never ‘unsee’), trolling comments they had left on Twitter, pictures of them drunk, ‘shagging’ public statues, commentary on their political preferences loaded with profanity, their dad as a cross dresser, saying they didn’t like their jobs….you name it, I have seen it.

This type of content can be costing you the job, or a promotion.


I am doing another keynote presentation about personal branding and social media to a group of young insurance professionals in a few weeks (they sent out the invitations with my key note topic summary, and they had such a huge response, that the event will now run over 2 days to accommodate the interest, which is more than double past few years attendance)! So…. I was sent a list of all the committee members…naturally, I started googling them to see how many of them needed some help in this area (admittedly, I also find it quite fun to see people in ‘leadership roles’  sharing things that make them human, its often hilarious!). It turns out a lot of them need some help!! My mining clients are also frequently in particular need of some Facebook privacy setting overhauls – lol! Omg miners….. all the big mining companies will google you, guaranteed (employers don’t want a PR disaster)…so….




Facebook – You should NOT have a public Facebook profile (unless you are happy for employers and clients to see EVERYTHING you share). Go to your Facebook account on a PC (preferable), Click on the dropdown arrow, click ‘Settings’, then select ‘Privacy’ with the padlock icon. Now here is the part most people miss….you don’t just limit the audience for future posts…you also have to limit the audience for past posts etc, separately.


Instagram – Go to your profile, on your phone, at the very top you will see an icon – that looks like a cog (or a sun), it will be next to your user name. Click on it.  Under ‘Account’ you will see an option where you can turn on a ‘private account’ – do that. Then only people you approve can see what you are posting. Unless your happy for everyone, including employers to see your content of course.


Twitter – most people use twitter do not want it to be private, as it is a public forum, but go through your twitter feed and delete all tweets, comments etc that you see as inappropriate. Your digital footprint here is something you should always be aware of. You may want to change your username to something that is not your name so you cant be found that way.


LinkedIn – it SHOULD be publicly available, and this is what you want to direct your employers to when they google you. It ranks high in google searches. This is the social media platform that holds the most cred with employers, so make sure your profile is slick, complete, full of content and build a solid network, gain endorsements etc.


Your social media says a lot about you. It can be positive if you are a squeaky clean kind of person. So consider your profiles and what it reveals about you.


Now, take your home address OFF your resume. This is not needed in 2016. You can list the suburb if proximity is a positive, but otherwise email and mobile are all the personal details you need. If you list your home address, employers can google it, find out how you live, what you paid for it, what it is worth, whether you mow your lawns and sooo much about you, just from your address.

We are now living in a world where we can find out so much about you from your name, address and employer details.


Google your colleagues….and see what you can find- notify them of what you can see, and what your boss could also see. Share this article with your loved ones and friends…..as this information can be the difference between them getting a job, promotion or raise….or not.


You are a small business of one. You are a Careerpreneur.  Career success is dependent on your ability to sell and market yourself effectively. Ensuring your digital footprint is managed, locked down and ‘clean’ is the best step you can take today.


You google employers before going for a job interview to learn more about them….and they do the same. It’s a two way street.

I am currently consulting with a CEO, of an insurance company to build their employer brand….and the staffs personal brand. He interviewed a candidate last week – he advised he knew she was on maternity leave, had 3 kids, what their names where, how much they weighed, that she liked x, y and z, that she was renting, what she was paying, what her house looked like, (she had her address on her resume)….he basically knew everything about her as she had allowed him too, by allowing her profiles to be public….he commented ‘I bet I know more about her, than she knows about our business’. he googles everyone before hiring them. This is the new normal for employers.

To your unlimited success,

Seona Craig

I am the CEO and Founder of YOU Unlimited and the leader of The ‘CareerPreneur’ Revolution. I am on a mission to change the way that people view and manage their careers to respond to the changes we are all facing in the new labour market!

Book in for a brand review with me NOW, from $75. Call 0423171234. Or email seona@youunlimited.com.au