Social Media When You're Job Hunting
3 July 2017
It has been announced that the number people using Facebook across the world has now hit a breathtaking two billion. That’s right – we’re logging on in our billions to the social networking site every month. We’re talking about our commutes, our lunches, our kids, our romances and our TV habits. Really, there’s no such thing as an overshare these days when our lives are played out on screens for all to see.
Social media is a great tool. It allows you to share memories, keeps families and friends in touch and even allows people to search for and find jobs. It’s this last point that I am going to focus on.
Increasingly these days, employers are performing a social media ‘check up’ on potential employees. They’ll simply look across sites like Facebook (or Twitter and LinkedIn) to see what your interests are and, more importantly, how you present yourself to the wider world.
So, it’s important to consider a little bit of a ‘spring clean’ on your accounts if you are intending to start looking for work. If you have anything that would be considered controversial, in terms of statuses or images, it might be time to hide or remove them.
LinkedIn, in particular, is a purely professional network wherein photos of nights out or revelations about your dating life are strictly inappropriate.
And don’t think that, because you’ve been successful in getting a job, you can go back to posting controversial or provocative posts. People have been fired for tweets and statuses that they have written whilst in employment as their managers have felt it would give potential clients a bad impression of the company.
These aren’t even just recent posts – people have been caught out by stuff they have posted years ago as an immature youth. (There have even been people who have been sacked for phoning in sick then checking themselves in somewhere on Facebook.)
We’re not here to tell you what you can and cannot post on social media. It’s your profile. But it is important to remember that all of these are public platforms, where everything you say is up for inspection. We’re also not telling you to wash your profiles of any signs of personality – a hiring manager probably isn’t going to believe that your profile is solely dedicated to your intended market without so much as a hint of a personal life.
If you are job searching, make sure your profiles are locked down on strict privacy settings and remove anything you wouldn’t want a future boss to see. A good ‘standard’ to take is: If you wouldn’t say it to a manager’s face, take it off your social media.
Social media is all encompassing. We spend up to nine hours a day (or 30% of our online time) engaging with these various platforms. Whilst they can be so useful and a great way to network, they also put many aspects of our lives on display that were never made public before – largely because we’d have to wait until Jessops developed our pictures of our dinner or selfies from a night out.
If you are on the lookout for a new job, don’t be afraid to try and reach out via social media. You never know how far a bit of e-networking might go. Just remember to be professional at all times.
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Written By Mary Palmer