Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Messenger, Voxer, Skype etc.
Social Media is part of our everyday life, it can be great for sharing information and staying connected. These social apps can certainly provide countless benefits, but they can also hurt your job hunt and even hinder your professional advancement.
The profile you put out there is exactly how you are perceived. In the world of social media, perception is the reality.
Think of the last time you posted a status update or tweet. You may have thought that only your friends would be interested in seeing that or able to see your post. But did you know that many companies include a social media check-in their reference and background screening practices? At the very least, there is often an effort made for the hiring manager to “check out” their potential new hire.
That said, if you are on the job hunt or have plans for professional movement in the future, the obvious things are for you to polish up your resume and LinkedIn profile. It may be time for you to think about your social profiles and the image you present to the world. In my personal experience recruiting and hiring over the years, I’ve seen all sorts of crazy things that candidates have posted which can sabotage their job hunt.
1.) Overly political, aggressive or divisive posts (can’t we all just get along!?)
It’s been a tough few years on the political spectrum and our country has certainly felt divided at times. We all have our opinions but being very aggressive, accusatory or overly political especially in a negative manner, just isn’t good. No one wants to read those posts…not your friends and certainly not your coworkers or futures boss.
Here’s a thought, instead of the aggressive, divisive and hateful posts, how about we each do our part to create a social media presence of equality and inclusion.❤
2.) Vulgar or sexually explicit posts
Do I even have to explain? Well, apparently yes. I know that all over the business world right now it’s about being a badass this, or a kickass that. But seriously, enough already. We get it, you’re amazing but trust me, leave the profanity and overly explicit posts out of your public profile. If it’s not something you want your grandmother, pastor, your child or your future employer to see, don’t put it out there or make it private.
3.) Partying / drinking / wild and crazy nights out
So, you want to go out and have fun with your friends, tag everyone you know and see your social status climb! I get it, I enjoy my wine, some nights more than others. 😉 There’s nothing wrong with that now and then, but if you’d done it all the time, especially throughout the work week or even alcohol during the work day with references to calling out, you may not have a job left to play hooky from!
4.) Complaining about your boss, co-workers or employer
We all have rough days and get frustrated but it’s important to keep it in perspective. Scrolling through a candidate profile and seeing how much they hate their boss, how they can’t stand the company they work for maybe even cause harm, this won’t make anyone want to hire you. I promise.
5.) Non-work related posts while you are at work
You’ve joined a side hustle and want to earn that passive income by sharing online, then sharing again, then again and again. All during the 9-5 when you are technically working for another employer.
Or, you open Facebook for a quick check and get sucked into that funny cat or food prep videos and you just want to share, and share, and share again.
Or, you’re obsessed with that new .io game and can’t stop playing, little do you know that your score is repeatedly being posted as a status update with each game. Oops!
Basically, this all just looks bad. Moderation is key. While at work, focus on your work. Also, just so you know, posting and working your side hustle during the paid time from your current employer, or working that side hustle on their company-issued equipment, may be considered theft and can be grounds for termination and a breach of any employment agreements.
Social Media has become one of the best ways we can share information and connect with each other. We open the door for everyone to see. But remember, there is no “delete” feature that erases a post forever. And many employers will check out your social media profiles to get a better idea of who you are. Make sure those public profiles align with your professional goals!