Social media has become a staple in the lives of many. It provides a connection to family, friends and businesses. But it is important to remember that it may also be accessible to your current, or potential, employer.
While most people are careful about what they post, there is more information on your pages than just what you decided to say. Your feed provides insights regarding the kind of people you associate with as well as ideas you may support. If you aren’t auditing your social media feed with your employment in mind, you may be missing out on opportunities even if you aren’t saying a word.
Inappropriate or Provocative Content
Your social media feed is a representation of you. This includes not only what is posted directly on your page, but also items with which you are associated. While your friend may have no issue with posting a picture of your latest party exploits, it can reflect poorly on you with employers. This includes being tagged in photos or posts with questionable content.
Negative Comments About Employers
Many people vent their work-related frustrations to friends and family, but doing so over social media can come back to haunt you. Employers often see such overt displays of discontent to be warning signs of how you may speak about them in the future. Even approving of a negative comment made by someone else can leave them unsure about your attitude.
Whether the comment is made by you or anyone in your feed, expressing discriminatory thoughts or feelings often alarm employers. Discrimination in the workplace is taken very seriously, so a company that believes you may cross a line will likely prefer not to have you there.
Comments don’t have to be overtly discriminatory, or even serious, to potentially cause a problem. Even a questionable joke can hurt your chances of being hired. And this includes posts or comments made by others whose activities appear in your feed.
Evidence of Misrepresentation
Social media provides an avenue to chronicle one’s life. Often, there is information regarding a person’s education, job experience, and personal activities throughout their profiles. While this isn’t guaranteed to be an issue in and of itself, it can out you if you chose to lie on an application.
While lying on applications always comes with serious risk (and should be avoided at all times), social media platforms often provide the ability to cross-reference claims made on your resume. Discrepancies in the information submitted can harm your chances of getting and keeping a job. And this even applies when your application is true, and your social media profile includes the lie.
If the two sources don’t jibe, then it plants the seeds of doubt regarding your integrity.
What You Can Do
The first step to preventing issues regarding your social media feed is to review the information contained therein. If you follow or associate with anyone who regularly posts questionable content, it is best to remove them from your feed. Similarly, work with friends and family members to make sure you aren’t associated with any content that can hurt your career.
Additionally, make sure your privacy settings are appropriate based on who should have access to what information. This is especially true when the platform updates certain content or settings, as the default options may be more public than you would normally choose.
Treat your social media feed as an extension of your professional image and you will be more inclined to control what is posted. Remove any activity that doesn’t reflect well in the eyes of an employer.
If you want more assistance locating new job opportunities, The Squires Group can help you navigate the current job market. Contact us today and see how we can assist in ensuring you are projecting your ideal career image when reaching out to potential employers.