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Looking for a job and worried about the horror stories you hear about people not getting hired because of the state of their Instagram account? You aren’t too far off the mark – most hiring managers will do research including looking at your social media profiles to make sure you will be an excellent addition to their team.

A common misconception is that employers sift through your social media to try and find the worst aspects of you. The truth is, over 60% of companies say they go through your Instagram and other profiles to check out you out on a personal level. They aren’t looking for a reason not to hire you. Quite the opposite, actually: they want more reasons to hire you. So why let your Instagram kill your prospects?

Negative Social Media Can Destroy Your Chances

You might not realize it, but the same employers looking through your social media for a reason to hire you could be put off by a negative post on your profile. Over 50% of hiring managers say that they were influenced by social media posts not to hire an applicant. Some of the types of posts that put your potential employers off hiring you include:

  • Any pictures on Instagram that are “indecent”, nude, provocative, or otherwise unprofessional
  • Any proof or circumstantial evidence that you are a drug user or a heavy drinker
  • Discrimination, whether racist, sexist, or homophobic
  • Unprofessional conduct in the form of badmouthing a previous employer or colleague
  • Terrible communication strategies and skills

Don’t Hide Who You Are Online!

One decision that can be terrible for you is to hide your Instagram account from the public. Setting your social media accounts to private is a good way to stop employers from looking at them, but it can also lead to a negative impact on their decision. They want to find out more about you on the internet. Having a clean account is a good start, but if you are too clean and polished, it might start to smell a little fishy to the employer.

Your primary objective with your Instagram account should be to tell your employer about who you are. Use it to communicate your personality, your hobbies, your preferences, and what you do in your leisure time. Most employers today want someone who can share in the strong culture they have within the office. Being someone with diverse interests is a good way to show them that you will fit right in with the rest of them.

What You Should Show Online

If you have a website, make sure it is built with a professional image in mind. On the “about” page of your social media, set up the qualifications you have and match them with your resume. Try to make your personality online as diverse and responsible as possible, with many interests and a “well-rounded” image of yourself. Last, but not least, learn the difference between your and you’re. Little things like that go a long way.

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