Despite three quarters (77 per cent) of young people (aged 14-25) being aware that potential employers are checking social media profiles before hiring them, a quarter (24 per cent) still have no privacy settings in place and further one in ten (11 per cent) are unsure if they are protected or not.

This lack of awareness could harm their employment chances, which is why LifeSkills created with Barclays is enabling young people to boost their employability by using social media in a positive way, with the launch of a new LifeSkills CV Builder.

Researchshows that nine in ten employers will review a candidate’s social media profile before making their hiring decision. Yet, the LifeSkills Youth Barometer found that more than one fifth (22 per cent) of young people regularly post pictures of events that might paint them in a less than positive light. One in ten (11 per cent) also admitted they post pictures of themselves drinking as a common occurrence.

However, your social media profile could be a real advantage to your employment opportunities if harnessed in the right way. LifeSkills has launched a new CV Builder that can connect a young person’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to supercharge their CV. The CV Builder then guides candidates through a simple step by step process to further populate their CV, providing helpful hints and tips along the way.

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills, created by Barclays said: “Employers are increasingly using social media to find out more about prospective candidates prior to meeting and making their hiring decisions.

“In a competitive job market, it’s important to present yourself in the best possible way – both on and offline. You need to be shouting about positive experiences to boost your employability such as pinning top tweets demonstrating your achievements of which you are proud.

“This is why our LifeSkills programme has developed new tools which provide practical help to young people to present their best self online using social media and successfully transition into work.”

By registering at, young people can access the new CV builder, as well as a bank of tips and advice to help gain the skills needed to enter the world of work.

Top tips for presenting your best self online from Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills created with Barclays:

  1. Spring clean your social media profiles

When recruiting, companies are not just relying on a CV and cover letter, they are also checking potential candidates’ social media channels too. So it’s important to remember that what you do and say online could be seen by anyone, and will be there forever. Decide which social networking sites you want to keep away from work and use privacy settings to ensure your New Year’s Eve party pictures don’t spoil your chances with potential employers. Make sure you also remove/delete any social media profiles no longer in use. Just because you’re not updating your old Bebo and Myspace accounts doesn’t mean they no longer exist.

  1. Make sure employers know you’re available

When writing your social media bios, particularly for LinkedIn, remember employers could read it too. This is your chance to not only highlight your skills and achievements but also show you are available to work in that industry too. If you’re looking for a full time position in a certain field then don’t be afraid to say so.

  1. Ensure your email address is professional

When sending potential employers your CV, the first thing they’ll see is your email address, so make sure it’s professional. You wouldn’t want to send a company an email using your childhood address of Create a new professional account that can be used for jobs and building contacts.

  1. Don’t be afraid to highlight your life experiences

Social media doesn’t have to be used solely for selfies and life updates. Why not upload photos and videos of your life experiences such as work experience, volunteering and achievements. Social media can be a great way to show your creativity and personality, so you could turn your work experience into a Vine. With employers checking social media accounts, pin the updates that most highlight your experience. These will remain at the top of your profile and will be the first updates employers will see.

  1. Share your friends achievements too

While a lot of people like to use their social channels to highlight what they’re doing, try doing the same for your friends too. This will not only showcase that you’re a team player, but also that you’re supportive and motivating when it comes to peer’s accomplishments.

LifeSkills created with Barclays is a free education and work experience programme that helps to make the transition into work easier for young people by connecting business and education providers with young people and their parents.

Young people can also use the LifeSkills website to complete a range of interactive resources to learn everything from preparing for an interview and how to write a CV through to matching their skills to a career and how to network. As they complete tasks, they gain points which can be used to unlock work experience opportunities.

The curriculum linked programme also provides free, lessons and workshops for teachers across three modules: people, money and work skills. In addition, teachers can match their pupils to local work experience opportunities. Barclays Digital Driving Licence also provides young people with digital skills to help them be more confident with the internet, digital development, online security and coding.

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