Clean up your Act online: Peter Cosgrove talks about recruitment and candidate screening through social media

Hand with spray bottleWritten by Dave Cullen

With the advent and ubiquity of social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the recruitment and candidate screening process has begun to evolve. There is a gradual migration away from the sole dependency upon the traditional CV and cover letter. Nowadays recruiters and hiring managers are also taking into consideration the online lives and identities of applicants. The social platforms of candidates, their online activities, habits and even their interests are all being used to help build a clearer picture of the individual.

As a result, this development has opened up questions about personal privacy and the importance of cultivating and maintaining a clean online image. If you think a prospective employer is checking your social media profiles, you may wish to remove any inappropriate content such as any questionable Tweets or inappropriate posts or photographs.

This week, Cpl Director, Peter Cosgrove spoke to the Irish Times about how a candidate’s digital footprint can be a powerful influencing factor when it comes to making new hires. “Your CV is no longer a two-page word document. People also look at your online/social CV. Companies can pull together your online bio, presentations you’ve given, things you’ve posted online etc to create a living CV and this will only get easier as search becomes more powerful. Whether they should or not is another story but they do,” said Peter.

He recommends that candidates consider conducting a “spring clean of their digital image” before they proceed with applying for a job. There are numerous applications available that candidates can employ to help purge their online presence of any unfavourable content associated with them such as FaceWash, Socioclean and Tweepi.

Peter advises that you should “Search for yourself online and see what’s available, find out what your digital footprint says about you. Don’t just search for your name. Search for other things that are individual to you such as your phone number or email address. Make sure your Facebook photo does not paint you in a negative light. It’s also a good idea to clean up old posts on Facebook or Twitter.”

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