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Time to tidy: cleaning up your social media for potential employers

Published on: 30 Mar 2023

Why you should polish up your social media accounts when applying for planning roles, as employers may check them in the screening process. 

It seems that a well-written CV and covering letter is not enough to earn a new position these days, and if your social presence online contains anything inappropriate it could hinder your chances of getting the role.

A study by CareerBuilder found that seven in 10 employers have used social networking sites to search candidates during the hiring process. The survey found that 40% of hiring managers would not employ someone who posted provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information online. But don’t worry – we will provide some pointers below so that you do not fall at this hurdle. 

The top three platforms employers check are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Take a moment to check through any of these accounts you may have and remove anything that is not professional and can add you to the ‘no’ pile in the hiring process.

  • On Facebook you can keep your activity to friends only from the settings so only they can see your posts. Be mindful of comments that you post on public posts as these can be seen by everyone.
  • LinkedIn is a great platform to create your online resumé and also apply for jobs so be mindful of your activity. You could set parts or even all of your profile to private within the settings depending on your preference. Check out our article on how to effectively use LinkedIn here. 
  • For Twitter, you could keep your personal account private from the settings menu and maybe create a professional one for your work only, where you could let your planning achievements and interests shine in that environment.   

Follow the above steps for any other accounts you may use such as TikTok and Instagram and delete any old accounts that you no longer use. 

Other handy tips to consider:

  • Ensure that you have a professional profile photo and bio on your profile.
  • Customise your social media handles and URLs.
  • Google search yourself every month and set up a Google alert for your name to keep abreast of your online presence. 

Using social media doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom and if used effectively can help in your town planning job search. Just be mindful of what you post online and who can see it and you should be fine when you get screened by potential employers.