Post, post, post... How social media can affect your job prospects.
In the age of social media and constant sharing, we spend a lot of time putting out content and info about our lives. But is it always good for us to share everything, and could it be putting our new job offer at risk?
The majority of employers admit to searching social media before hiring an individual, and it isn't completely illogical that they do. Yes, they have your CV, and maybe they've even interviewed you, but the things you put on your social media might just give them that extra little insight into who you are as a person. It's important therefore to make sure you're not scuppering your chances with some ill-advised online behaviour. Whether it's photos of your nights out, controversial debates on your feed, or inappropriate jokes supposedly between friends, social media can be the downfall of any good applicant. In this day and age, no employer wants a hire to come back and bite them because of something hidden away on the internet.
So how do you cleanse your online presence to put your best foot forward?
1. A picture's worth a thousand words.
You might love that picture of you and the lads/gals in Magaluf last year drinking £3 fishbowls before dancing on the table, but your potential employer won't. The simplest way to handle this problem is privacy. Set everything to private. Simply don't let people outside your network see the rowdiest parts of your profiles. You might even consider a change of name, or an alteration at least, to avoid employers finding you. That way you don't have to purge all those fond memories (or lack of).
Keep in mind though, having a good time isn't a reason not to get a job. So don't change your life completely, just maybe don't advertise it quite so freely.
2. I don't remember saying that...
Most people could go back through their social media profiles and find jokes and comments that they wouldn't be proud of. There's a strange sensation when you find something your younger self said and you think, really, did I write that? With that in mind, have a quick look back at the thoughts of the former you and get rid of anything that you might not be proud of today. It's tedious, but it could be the difference between getting the job and not getting the job.
3. Moan, moan, moan...
We've all had those days at work when the boss is giving us hell, and we're grumpy, and maybe a little hungover, and we really really don't want to be there. And every so often we might even post about it on social media. Great idea! Or not. Moaning about a previous employer on social media is a big no no! The newspapers have had a steady smattering of stories about people losing their jobs of social media posts, so it's really not worth it. Make sure your profile is clear of anything that might make you look like an intolerant employee. Remember, they're investing in you and they want to know you can act professionally and reasonably.
4. Opinions are like...
We all get aggravated by silly opinions online, and sometimes we even make the mistake of venturing into a heated debate with someone who doesn't possess the natural ability to be reasonable. An so, we devolve. Things get said, it's not our proudest moment, and it is cemented onto social media forever... Well not quite, but these spats are not the best representation of our rational brain, so remove them. Employers don't want to see that time you called someone an imbecile because they didn't agree with you on Brexit. So during the job hunt, make sure those little tiffs aren't all over social media profiles.
5. Me, me, meme.
Memes are funny. Statement of fact. Sort of. They're funny to some, not funny to others, sometimes down right offensive. And they can be very easily misinterpreted, so save yourself the embarrassment and remove some of those controversial ones. Nobody wants to see a profile scattered with questionable memes when they're hiring. So keep it clean.
It seems somewhat irritating that a potential employer might judge you on your social media presence, and in fact choose not to hire you based on something you've said or posted, but that is the problem with social media, it's not a joke in a quiet room on a Friday night with friends, it's out there for the world to see, and you need to think about how an employer would react if you said those very same things to their face, because by posting it online you basically are...