5 things your social media accounts are revealing about you to a lurking recruiter

Ever wondered what impression your online personas might be leaving on potential recruiters? Here are 5 details your social media accounts may be unwillingly revealing to your future employers.


Rare is the 21st century job seeker who hasn't succumbed to the allure of social media yet. Whether it is for professional networking or sharing your hedonistic lifestyle, there are an estimated 3.2 million individuals on social media sites with the numbers increasing by 13% year-on-year. However, it's not just your friends and family who get to see another side of you through these accounts. Potential employers and recruiters often lurk on these sites to unearth more details about you as a candidate. 

Whether you know it or not, your online accounts could be revealing more about you than you intended to. Recruiters and employers use this information to weigh in more on how suitable your candidature is for the job that you applied for. Some of these details include: 

1. How You Communicate with Others

With social media being free and accessible to all, it's extremely easy to have an opinion and publish it online. When online, recruiters look out for what opinions you hold / support, how well you convey it, how to deal with detractors and critics (if any), etc. While it is wrong to judge a candidate solely on the basis of his/her opinions, it is a prudent move to see how these opinions translate into online interactions. After all, you don't want to hire somebody who swears at every person criticizing him/her online, repeating that in the boardroom. 

2. Who your Friends Are

What they say is true: Your Vibe Attracts your Tribe. The people you have connected with online are a reflection of your taste in people. Having a diverse set of friends and acquaintances is an indication of your easy going and approachable nature. It reflects on how well you can work with different sets of people, which is crucial in the global workforce of the 21st century. 

3. The photos / videos you are tagged in

While most people are careful about uploading incriminating photos or videos of themselves, they are less concerned about their friends' uploading habits. Sometimes, it is the content others have uploaded of us and tagged us in, that can do the most damage to our reputation. Therefore do check your tagged photos for any unsavory photos or videos and ensure you have the right privacy settings in place. 

4. Your Online Posts / Articles 

Your online content should reflect your intellect as well as personality but you should know where to draw the line and which account to use for what. Don't post selfies or write political rants on LinkedIn. Instead, use the platform to brand yourself as a thought leader. You can also create your own website to showcase your portfolio. 

5. Your Hidden Side

Recruiters know that everybody is on their best behaviour and has come well-prepared to answer any questions for the interviews but most don't show such restraint on their social media accounts. Your account could reveal your secret side to the recruiters, such as your impressive slam-poetry skills or the less impressive drinking skills. You need to ensure this is in line with the image you want to cultivate professionally. 

Online media can reveal more than you intended to future employers. You can use it to highlight your strengths or draw unnecessary attention to your shortcomings. The choice is up to you. 

Questions for Reflection

Have you paid particular attention to your social media accounts while embarking on a job search?

How do you use social media to showcase your skills and strengths? 

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Chaitra K

With a background in Literature and Psychology, and an MBA in Human Resources Management, Chaitra is responsible for the design and production of NKoach’s courses, workshops and corporate training programs. Her mission is to help people discover their passion and become better versions of themselves.

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