What Should you Disclose & What Should you Keep Private in your Job Search

What Should you Disclose & What Should you Keep Private in your Job Search

As a job seeker, you need to be careful when sharing things online and in interviews. One controversial discussion on Facebook or a poor comment made about an ex-boss could jeopardize your chance of employment. Many people overlook the fact that a simple Google search can reveal a lot about them. Your interview responses need filtering, too. It’s vital to really consider what to disclose and what to keep private as a job seeker.

Private Life

  • What to Disclose

    Most of us are active on social media. It’s becoming increasingly easy to find out about someone with a simple Google search and some digging. Recruiters are also active online, and they can find out a lot about a candidate by looking at their online activity. This sounds daunting, but it can actually be advantageous for you.

    Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are great spaces to share your career developments and personal endeavors. If you’ve just completed your scuba diving course – post about it! It’s a happy moment, and it will show recruiters that you’re outgoing and daring. Keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date also means recruiters can find you even when you’re employed.

    When it comes to interviews, the goal is to learn more about you. “So, tell me about yourself.” Ensure you keep your answer informative but concise. The interviewer is assessing your communication skills. Tell them about hobbies and passions of yours that align with the company’s vision. Highlight any interests that emphasize your skills and strengths, such as marathon running.

  • What to Keep Private

    If you’re actively searching for a job, it’s worth checking your privacy settings. Save the weekend photos for your friends-only private account. Would you want your boss to see you intoxicated or participating in risky behavior? If you’re posting it, adjust your privacy settings before it affects your candidacy.

    The same need for privacy applies in an interview. An interviewer doesn’t need to know about your financial concerns or family situation. Firstly, it can make them uneasy and be off-putting. Secondly, it could unintentionally open the door to discrimination. For example, telling your interviewer that you’re trying to start a family could cause them to hesitate due to legal leave requirements.

Past Employment

  • What to Disclose

    Employment history is core to your resume, social media profiles such as LinkedIn, and who you are as a person. This information can and should be disclosed. You can proudly share your achievements in past roles, describing the impact they made on the company. It’s also okay to praise your past employer and share a testimonial. Basically, keep the conversation positive.

    When interviewing, it’s likely you’ll be asked about your previous jobs. Discuss any impressive projects you were involved in. Talk about the positives of the company, like their company culture or management style. Regardless of how bad a position may have been, you’ll be able to pinpoint something to share with a smile.

  • What to Keep Private

    Do NOT talk badly about your past employer or company. You may be on the bus after a tough day dealing with your unbearable boss, tempted to rant on your social media feed – don’t. A hiring manager needs confidence that you won’t bad mouth them, too. You also should never discuss private work matters online. Apart from looking unprofessional to a potential employer, you could face legal ramifications.

    The interview isn’t the time to vent, either. When someone asks about your previous employment, be honest but filtered. You can explain why you have left another company, but choose how to word it carefully. Rather than, “My boss was a nightmare!” you could say “I wasn’t happy with the management style and lack of communication as I love working openly to solve problems as a team.” Avoiding negative comments demonstrates your ability to remain professional regardless of the truth.


  • What to Disclose

    It’s common to engage in discussions online. Ideally, you’ll be contributing to conversations related to your industry. Informed, researched comments aren’t just fine to share, but they also demonstrate to an on-looker that you’re capable of engaging in relevant conversations with like-minded intellects. The knowledge to contribute to such conversations suggests to a recruiter that you’re well-versed and care about developing your career.

    You can also share these insights and opinions in an interview. You’ll most likely be asked questions that demonstrate your knowledge. You could creatively find a way to align your industry knowledge with a specific detail about the company you’re interviewing for. Making an educated observation without being asked to do so could really woo your interviewer.

  • What to Keep Private

    Opinions on controversial issues, religious beliefs, or harmful topics are a no-go. If you’re about to say something that could offend someone else, just avoid it. Sharing these opinions online can come back to haunt you as a job seeker. No recruiter wants to see that their applicant is incapable of filtering themselves.

    While we said that sharing an educated opinion in an interview could really impress your interviewer, it could also do the opposite. Sounding overly informed may give you an arrogant tone and displease the interviewer. Only offer a thoughtful opinion if outright asked to do so, or if you’re confident it’ll bring value to the conversation.

Written by Career Specialist Mar 03, 2023
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