What you do and say online can be seen by everyone, including potential employers.

We're all internet addicts these days, it seems. The average user spends almost 21 hours a week on the web, a figure that has more than doubled [1] in the last ten years alone.

With smartphones ubiquitous and 4G signal encouraging us to use them more than ever, it's hard to think that we'll wean ourselves off the wonders of the world wide web any time soon.

Yet while work, rest and play might have a much more digital look to it these days, not everything we do online is positive for our lives, in fact some of it can be pretty harmful to our chances of getting a job. One gloomy study in the US reckoned that more than half of all employers that researched candidates on social media have found something that has led to them not hiring them.

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Here's a few online errors that could stop you from getting the job you want:


Some things are really worth keeping to yourself. While you shouldn't feel censored, it's important to remember that would-be employers could see your posts. If you'd be embarrassed by people knowing your personal information or seeing your photos, then don't share them. First impressions count for a lot; bad online habits can create a negative one.


Similarly, some people see Twitter as an avenue for their anger and frustration. It might seem fun in the moment to let off some steam, but consider that every post you make leaves a digital footprint. Lewd jokes, swear words and aggressive language don't create a great impression and neither do posts that are riddled with spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Too much time

It is possible to spend too much time online. It's one thing to get into the habit to check your social media timeline every so often but it's another to spend all day every day submersed into your internet activities. Remember that, when job hunting, it's important to show that you've been proactive so volunteering or work experience spells are vital and that means shutting down and getting off your backside. A candidate who has been sitting online waiting for an opportunity won't catch the eye of the best employers.

Failing to 'do the right thing'

Some things that you do online can genuinely help you to get a job. Posting a CV to LinkedIn, for example, offers a would-be employer the chance to get a look at someone's experiences and achievements and for people to be 'head hunted' based on their talents. Writing a blog that shows a passion and knowledge for an industry and/or running a website that showcases best examples of work are also great ways for a candidate to get their name 'out there'. Yet, given that it's easier than ever to do all of the above, we've almost reached the stage where these are a must. People who don't do at least some of this 'best practice' online work could fall behind their rivals and struggle to attract the pick of the best jobs on The SmartList.

By wasting too much time online, sharing too much or posting the wrong things we can harm our chances of getting a good job. By not embracing the job hunting opportunities of the web it's also possible to find yourself off the pace. Cut out the bad habits, embrace the good ones and you'll be a much more attractive prospect for recruiters.

[1] http://media.ofcom.org.uk/news/2015/cmr-uk-2015/

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