Can social networking limit your job prospects?

If you are young and are looking for hospitality jobs, you can be guaranteed that you will fall into the demographic that owns at least one social networking account. These days, employers will Google names when shortlisting candidates and thus many young people fear that their Facebook profiles will be a way in which potential bosses can learn about their frivolous weekends and private information. A picture of you from a crazy night out is hardly going to scream ‘employee material’.

However, applying for jobs does not mean that you have to shut down all of your social networking sites. Following certain guidelines will guarantee that you can go on the job hunt whilst not cutting back on the tweets.

Google and graft

The best thing to always do is see what your online presence actually is. Doing a simple search of your name on search tools such as Google and Pipl will bring together all of your profiles, any content that features you, photos, videos and blog mentions. What you encounter here is what employers will see at the end of the day.

If there is anything online that you think may hinder your job chances, this is the perfect way to compile a list of blogs and websites that you will need to either contact or personally make alterations to.

Facebook and facility

With over a billion active accounts on Facebook, this social networking tool has become both a great way to forge job connections whilst also allowing bosses to spy on candidates. Therefore, what is visible to the public eye is very important here. Many individuals will choose to get rid of their accounts altogether, but a few changes to your privacy settings is sufficient.

Using your account drop-down menu, you can not only individually customise what a non-friend can view on your profile, but you can essentially make yourself non-existant in the site’s search engine. Making such changes will guarantee that you remain hidden on Facebook.

The site has a useful ‘preview my profile’ function which will show you how your profile looks to those who have not added you as a friend. It will further signpost any pictures or posts that you will want to either remove or edit.

Twitter and trade

Your tweets may be a gateway to your personality. Whilst this will be a great way for employers to figure you out as a person, it could also be a reason for your opinions and rants to make the light of day. Tweets need to be protected or the whole world will be able to see your views. Make sure that people can request to follow you instead of just clicking a button.

Furthermore, who you follow and lists that you are a ‘fan’ of may turn up in random order and be visible to anyone. If who you are following has an inappropriate profile picture, this can be a recipe for disaster.

On a side note, it is also worth never tweeting anything about work during your probation period. This may lead to a whole load of trouble for your future prospects.


The general rule is that one should not be too militant with their social networking. Go on the job hunt and still be linked up to all your friends. Being a social butterfly should not mean remaining unemployed.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find hospitality jobs.