Social Media Postings: Do’s and Don’ts While Looking for a Job

 

Social Media Postings: Do’s and Don’ts While Looking for a Job

A good resume can get you in the door for a job interview. Showing up for that interview dressed appropriately, ready to answer questions, and with your “A” game can help move from a potential employee to a prospective one. Once it’s time for a background check, you can feel pretty confident that coveted job is yours. But wait…what if part of that background involves a social media check? Will your social media make a good impression or be the thing that helps get your resume tossed into the garbage can?

According to Facebook.com, over one billion people are active on Facebook. Twitter is a little behind the Facebook curve, but still, in the United States, over 68 million people are active monthly on Twitter. Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users. That means that even if potential employers aren’t doing in depth background checks, you can bet your perspective employer will at least put your name into one of the social media sites and see what comes up.

In fact, this has happened many times. According to CareerBuilder, 70% of employers utilize social media sites to evaluate and investigate potential employees. Of those, 57% found information on the social media site that caused the employer to think the person wouldn’t be a good fit for their organization. CareerBuilder indicates general search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are used by about 69% of the 2,300 respondents to their survey about the use of social media and employment. That means your online presence is important not just to you, but to prospective employers as well.

Hey, let’s just cancel our social media accounts, right? Wrong. The same CareerBuilder survey found that 47% of employers said if a prospective employee doesn’t have a social media account, they are less likely to contact them for an interview. Employers use social media sites to find out whether candidates are being honest about their reported skills and experience, what others say about the candidate, and if they have a professional presence (such as LinkedIn).

 

 What Can You Do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, keep in mind there are a lot of social media sites that aren’t mentioned here. Make a list of all your accounts and doublecheck your privacy settings.

For social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc, make sure you aren’t writing or sharing photos (or forwarding things, memes, sayings, rants, etc) that you wouldn’t want your potential employers to see. How to gage that? Consider this: if you wouldn’t want your mother, grandmother, or your priest to see it, don’t post it. That’s a good rule of thumb. If you feel okay showing your mom or grandma a photo of you leaning over a toilet puking after too many Fireball whiskey shots, you should probably just stop looking for a job now. Go ahead and keep living in your mom’s basement. No one will judge you. Much.

Are you an over-sharer? Did you get cut off in traffic and have a road rage incident? Did you watch some Senate hearings and can’t wait to share your opinion on Facebook about sexual harassment (pro or con)? Maybe you can’t stand an elected official or love talking about politics in general? Having issues with your spouse?  Deal with all those tempting topics away from social media. Not only do your prospective employers not want to hear about your political opinions or know that you can’t deal with your private life privately, they may not agree with what you wrote at all…and that could get your job offer pushed to the bottom of the circular file.

Wanna know a secret? honestly, your friends don’t want to see stuff from over-sharers, either. Use social media to make everyone think your life is roses. Got a new puppy or just had a kid? Go ahead and post a million pictures. Did your neighbors call the police last night on your spouse since someone drank too much, vomited in the neighbor’s pool and then peed in their hot tub? Although that’s entertaining, and I’d love to hear all about it,  social media isn’t the place. Stick to motorcycling or your hobbies.

Let’s talk about “selfies.” You know, when your entire page is filled with photos of you on vacation and all anyone can see is your face? Or the daily selfie that’s posted so people can see what you’re wearing? Newsflash: no one wants to see that much of you and no one cares what you are wearing. And, research studies show that people who take a lot of selfies can turn potential employers off and make people less likable
. Selfies are so popular that psychologists have come up with the saying, “Healthy Selfies.”  Seriously, there’s a healthy way to utilize selfies and an unhealthy way. Bottom line, be careful about the number of selfies you have on social media…for your sake as well as everyone else’s.

Share things. Live life. Travel the world. Have opinions. Be free. Just remember, social media can be a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family. But beware. It can also be the demise of a great opportunity.

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One thought on “Social Media Postings: Do’s and Don’ts While Looking for a Job

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