We pretty much all use social media in some shape or form; it can help us keep in touch with friends and family and lets us share what’s going on in our own lives. You potentially wouldn’t think twice about the pictures or the comments you post on social media, but it turns out your bosses and potential employers might.
Did you know that 93% of hiring managers will research your social profile before making a decision about employing you? (JobVite, 2014) You might have professional social content like a blog, portfolio or LinkedIn profile for them to see, but what about the stuff you post day-to-day to your friends? Don’t let that one inappropriate joke cost you the interview!
Try these top tips:
It’s your private life so consider keeping it that way. Your friends might like your ‘funny’ posts about work or your crazy life, but an employer might not appreciate it. Most of us have heard at least one story of people losing their jobs after sharing things on social media. It’s probably best not to post things that can be considered inappropriate online, but if it’s something you can’t live without, just make sure you control who’s going to see it. More on making your profiles private here
This isn’t about what effects you use on your images – but more about which pictures you choose to put online. Your account might have all the privacy settings turned on, but it doesn’t mean that all your pictures are completely untraceable, so think twice about the photos you post or others post of you. When you’re looking for work, do you really want a potential employer seeing them?
We all need to vent sometimes, but putting it down in writing, for anyone and everyone to see, is not always the best way to go about it. You never know who might read your post, or who might know your boss who you were criticising on your social media in real life.
Having an opinion, views on current events and more generally just expressing your individuality is great, but how you express yourself can have an impact on the way employers may see you. Posting content with profanities, abusive language, lewd remarks etc. can reflect really poorly on you, especially if taken out of context. So when you post something online, try to keep this in mind. For more on using your social profiles positively to bag you a job, check out this module.
Don’t get the wrong idea – employers will generally want to hire someone sociable and with a memorable personality – a lively social media presence can be a great asset, there are just some basic things to remind yourself of once in a while to make sure you don’t make the wrong first impression. Think you know when to Tweet, and more importantly, when to delete? Test yourself with these two scenarios.