Written by Alex Fleming - Managing Director at Adecco Retail

An interview is all about getting to know the candidate and seeing if they’re a good fit for your company. Jobs can be lost and won based on a huge variety of things that happen in the interview, from your responses to your body language, and sometimes even the strength of a handshake! In the age of social media, however, the interview isn’t the be-all and end-all, and an interviewer can know all about you, for good or ill, before you’ve even stepped into the interview room.

The problem with this phenomenon for young job seekers is that recent research by Adecco found that more than half of teenagers, at a time when they’re using social media more than ever before, don’t know employers look at candidates’ social media profiles and that social media activity could have a detrimental effect on their employment prospects. Below, we offer our top tips on making sure that social media doesn’t ruin your career before it starts.

You’re your best censor

Pause before you post is an adage that’s always worth following. Sweeps of social media have recently led to the very public suspension of Members of Parliament, so remember that once you’ve tweeted or (if your account is public) posted a photo to Facebook or Instagram, it’s in the public domain and may be something that you’ll regret further down the line.

Make sure your passwords are secure

It should go without saying, but keeping your passwords secure, changing them regularly, and making them difficult or impossible to hack should be a key consideration. A college American Football player has recently lost out on millions of dollars because his Twitter profile was hacked and one of his past indiscretions published online. If you’re lucky enough to be going for a job where the stakes are anywhere near this high, make sure you’re the only one who can access your social media profile!

Ask for advice

Recent research from Adecco has found that only 13% of students in state schools receive regular career advice, and only one in four receive guidance from external businesses or employees about what to expect when they start a job. This is a key contributor to the fact that young people don’t know the ways their usage of social media can harm their job prospects, so if you want to know more, make sure you ask.