The recruitment process can be costly, so savvy employers will take every measure to ensure they make the right decision when hiring someone new. And that can include looking on social media. If you use social media in any way, you are traceable and employers are increasingly using this to their advantage. It is thought that at least 60% of employers will check the social media sites of potential hires during the recruitment process, so if you want to get that job, be careful what you put out there!
Here are some ways you can minimise your risk of being excluded from an opportunity, before you have had the chance to prove yourself.
Privacy Settings - check you’re set up correctly
Most social media sites, including Facebook, have privacy settings where you can restrict who sees your content. Although you can’t fully control everything, it is a good idea to set your privacy settings so that only friends can see your updates. Even with restrictions, you still need to be really careful about what you share on social media. You may be able to delete it after, but that doesn’t mean that people haven’t seen it.
Badmouthing Current Employer - a big no no
No matter what you think of your current employer or the job, don’t be tempted to put this on social media for everyone to see. If you post negative comments about your employer, any future employer will be concerned about what you say about them. It doesn’t show much professionalism in general and could jeopardise your chances of landing a great job. So, no matter how hard your day has been - be careful how you report it on social media - don’t use it to let off steam as it may one day catch up with you.
General Attitude - what does it say about you as a prospective employee
Employers only really have your interview to go on when making a decision to hire you, they don’t really know anything else about you. One negative person in an office can easily bring everyone else down, which then affects morale, motivation and productivity. If an employer finds any racist, sexist or generally negative posts on your social media, they will probably think twice about hiring you.
Personal Problems - keep them personal
We have all seen those people who air their dirty laundry on social media and it may just make us cringe, but it is a red flag to employers. Social media is supposed to be a platform to connect and keep in touch, it is not a place to talk about your bad relationship or how your friends have let you down. For most people these are things to share with your nearest and dearest, not to put out for the world to see.
Photos - too much information!
Everyone enjoys a night out, but if your social media site is full of photos of you falling out of clubs, a potential employer might question your reliability. Employees are often caught out by employers when they call in sick and then post photos of themselves on a night out, so use caution when you decide to upload images. And also keep an eye on what your party friends might be posting of you! There is nothing wrong with showing that you are having fun, but just be aware that potential employers might be looking.
Social media is a great thing - but keep in mind what it says about you… and who might be looking. Keep an eye on your own profile - who can see it .. and what’s it saying. We don’t want to be killjoys, but even if you think it’s unfair, many employers may well check out your profile so a bit of self restraint and awareness could well save you future embarrassment - or worse, lost opportunities.