We use social media to tell our friends what we’re up to, who we’ve met, where we’ve been and what we thought of it. Leaving a comment on Facebook is as quick and easy as turning to the person next to you to share it with them.
But there is one major difference: What you share on the internet could potentially define you in the eyes of your future employer.
Sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ let employers take a behind-the-scenes peak at who you really are without the freshly-pressed suit and enthusiastic smile.
But these sites also allow job seekers to make contacts and find out more about the organisations they want to work for.
More than 40 per cent of employers look at applicants’ online activity, with almost half saying they have found content that caused them not to recruit a candidate with evidence of heavy drinking and drug taking high on the list of reasons they might turn an applicant down.
So while there are plenty of positives to be gleaned from using social media in your job search, you need to be aware of the pitfalls and start cleaning up your act online to move up the career ladder.
Here's our tips for using social media to your advantage in your job search...
1. If you post details about your life and personal views on social media make sure it creates a positive impression. Take down (or only share to a private group) anything that could be viewed by an employer as unprofessional or worse.
2. Make sure the job history you have included on social media sites matches what you have detailed on your CV, including places you have lived etc.
3. As much as social media can trip you up, it can also be a great way of showcasing your personality and demonstrating just how creative, outgoing and well-liked you really are. Job seekers who are invisible online may even be at a disadvantage as a result.
4. Social media can put you at an advantage if you can build compelling profiles for yourself that include your job history.
5. Use professional networking sites like LinkedIn to showcase your strengths, create new contacts and gather references from past employers.
6. Follow or ‘like’ organisations that you're interested in working for on social media so you’re up to date on all their latest news, and are first to spot any recruitment notices.
7. Be interested, make connections but don’t compromise yourself or a new contact by directly asking for a job – apply through the appropriate channels.