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Social media – using it in the right way

Tagged In:  Health
Most people have something on their Facebook that they wouldn’t want their prospective employer to see. Maybe you’ve been tagged in photos from your holiday; or have been sharing your high score on Farmville. The truth is that you can tell a lot about someone just by looking at their Facebook profile, so it’s no surprise that employers might have a sneaky peek before they offer you the job.

Using the privacy tips we have pulled together, you can be in control of what can and cannot be seen.


Looking out for these icons is a good place to start:

Profile / cover photos – Two words. Choose wisely. Profile and cover photos are the first thing you see when you click on someone’s profile. It doesn’t have to be a professional headshot but think about the impression someone would get from seeing your photo for the first time. Make sure you check through the comments and make sure they are all appropriate.

If you are using Facebook on a desktop, you can choose who can view these photos by clicking the arrow (as shown below) and selecting your chosen visibility setting.

Status updates – You can alter your privacy settings using the drop down on the bottom tool bar. If it is a post that could go in support of your application or demonstrate your passion for what you do (e.g. celebrating work achievements, awards, sector-related news), then you should set it to public; but avoid any inappropriate language in these posts.

Tagged and uploaded photos – You cannot change the privacy settings of a photo you’ve been tagged in if you did not upload it; however you can remove your tag by hovering over your name with your mouse. This means the photo will no longer appear on your profile.

Controlling privacy settings for the photos you have uploaded works in the same way as it does for status and profile photo updates. If you uploaded a group of images together, you will have to change the privacy settings of the group as a whole.

Comments on your wall – If someone has commented on your profile and the comment is showing as public, go to the arrow on the right hand side of your blue Facebook toolbar, and select ‘settings’. When you’re in this menu, go to ‘timeline and tagging’ on your left toolbar. Under the header ‘who can see things on my timeline?’ you can choose the privacy settings for your Facebook wall.

View as setting – On your profile, select the three dots and go to view as. This will show you how your Facebook looks to the public eye.

Twitter and Instagram

Twitter and Instagram function in the same way. If you use them on a personal level, you can set your profile to private so to view anything you have posted, people have to request to follow you first. They will still be able to read your bio, and see your header and profile photo so make sure these are appropriate.

If you don’t want a private account, then it is important to check back through recent tweets, tweeted photos and Instagram updates and ensure everything you have written represents your views and is something you wouldn’t be ashamed to say infront of an interview panel.

To set your Twitter profile to private:

1) Click on your user icon, and go to settings (as above)
2) On the left hand side of your window, click ‘Security and privacy’
3) Under the privacy header, you will see an option saying ‘tweet privacy’ and a box               next to it that says ‘protect my tweets’.
4) Tick this box to ensure that only your current followers, and anyone you approve, will be able to view what you are posting.

To set your Instagram profile to private:

You can only change your privacy settings for Instagram on a phone.

1) Click the cog on the top right hand corner of your window
2) You will be presented with a menu
3) Slide the ‘private account’ option across


Since Linkedin is a professional networking site, there shouldn’t be too much content to vet. It is just important that you have a professional photo and that your skills and experience are up-to-date. It is also good to have a brief description under each job highlighting your responsibilities in each role.

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