Which social media site says the most about who you are?

Ever since Facebook and Twitter, our digital footprint has become bigger and bigger. Endless tweets, statuses, retweets and sharing means people know more about us than ever before. Including employers. We are now in the age where being tagged in a picture of you stumbling over at 3 in the morning can all but mean your CV will be thrown in the bin. And, with more social media sites and apps that you can shake a stick at, getting caught out is all too easy. So which site is most likely to be your downfall? And which one says the most about who you really are?


With over 1.44 billion users and with around 600,000 new users a day, Facebook is arguably the most popular social media site there is. One of the most popular features on this site is the ability to share photos, create albums and tag your friends in pictures. This feature, however, is also one of its biggest problems for candidates applying for jobs. All it takes for an employer to see what you have been getting up to on your Friday night is a harmless click on the ‘Photos of you’ button. All of a sudden, your beautifully written and polished CV will be shoved aside, all because your mate tagged you in a photo of you necking shot after shot. A photo like that doesn’t scream ‘professional’ to a future employer, does it? There are ways around that however, with advanced privacy settings, you don’t have to share these photos with the world, and you can keep those memories between you and your group of friends. These problems all seem to stem from somebody else landing you in hot bother, however, it is possible to land yourself in it. Profile pictures, statuses and content sharing seem harmless at the time, but take a second to think about what is says about you? Before you send out that hundred word status about the cashier who gave you a dirty look, take a couple of seconds and ask yourself if you really need to post it. This isn’t a message telling you to abandon Facebook for good, just keep it PG so you don’t count yourself out of your dream job.


Coming up in the fast lane, Twitter is well on its way to overtake Facebook as the dominant social media site. Unlike Facebook, Twitter isn’t too renowned for photo sharing. However, tweeting and retweeting has become a habit for most users, with over 500 million tweets sent a day. Your personal thoughts that you’ve shared with your collection of followers may come back to haunt you. A famous example of this is Paris Brown, who lost her job as a youth crime commissioner aged 17, following a string of foul-mouthed tweets. Twitter is becoming the social media site that most employers are checking, as it details more of your personal thoughts and beliefs than any other site, thus giving an insight to the real you. Much like Facebook, it’s always best to keep your online profile squeaky clean, especially in the run up to a job application or interview.


A business-oriented social networking service, LinkedIn has built a reputation of being the social media site for professionals. With over 300 million users, people are now turning to this site to build their resumes and paint themselves in the best, professional light possible. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, all this site does is give a brief background to who you are, and you are able to list all your achievements, educational history and hobbies, as well as anything else you can think of. The only picture that features on your page is your display picture, which, from all the users i’ve seen, are just headshots, or nice family photos. This site is great for showing to employers, but sometimes it isn’t enough. The problem with LinkedIn is that it is polished for a purpose, and doesn’t show the real you. There is more to your life than your previous workplaces and where you went to school, and thats what the employers want to see. The hobbies and interests section on LinkedIn is doing a good job, but Facebook and Twitter show more character and allows employers to see whats behind the CV.

The overriding message behind all these social media sites is that you can use whichever one you want as long as you remain professional and sensible with it. Annoyingly, far too many candidates are counting themselves out of jobs with silly, impulse statuses and tweets. Keep your grievances to yourself, and only post things which aren’t embarrassing or offensive, and then your CV might not be chucked on the ‘No’ pile.

Charlie Atkinson