How social media can affect your ability to get hired

Picture this: You just got an interview for your dream job. You prepped for the interview, did your research, picked out an outfit. You are all set and ready to rock it. Last month you went out partying, on Facebook a friend tagged you in a picture dancing on the bar holding a bottle of tequila. You don’t think anything of it.

After the interview, you feel great and are confident you will get an offer. But a few days later you get a call from the hiring manager, “we really liked you but we don’t feel you are right fit for our company.” What went wrong?!

According to a survey performed by Career Builder, 65% of hiring managers admit to screening the potential candidates with the help of social media.

Hiring managers often screen potential candidates by looking through personal profiles on social media. They do this to be sure the person is a right fit for the company, culture and values. Companies do not want to hire someone with a negative or controversial online presence because it could reflect negatively on the business. Employees are brand representatives and a reflection of the business.

The image you project and how you broadcast your life online can jeopardise your chances in the hiring process. So be careful what you put on your personal social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn etc…It can affect your ability to get hired.

Worrying about your online presence is a relatively new phenomenon that didn’t need to be considered 10 years ago but in today’s social media driven world, we do. Luckily, ensuring your profiles are ‘employer friendly’ is an easy task.

Here are certain things you should never post on social media:

Complain about your job or boss

Do not complain about your current or any past jobs, co-workers or bosses. Airing your grievances for the world to see is never a good idea. It makes you look unprofessional, petty and difficult to work with.

Controversial topics

It is not advisable to share links, articles or post photos of controversial topics. You do not want to offend someone or a group. This is not to say you can’t share anything, just do not share topics that are universally offensive or controversial.

Inappropriate photos or videos

Think before you post a picture of last weekend out with your friends, if you are obviously intoxicated or in a ‘compromising position,’ it’s probably not a good idea.

Be mindful of shares and tags

Set your privacy settings so you can control what links or comments are shared on your profile and people’s ability to tag you. Even though you are careful about what you share and post, it does not mean others have the same consideration about your public persona.

These suggestions do not mean you must remain silent on social media or undetectable. Use your online presence as an opportunity to demonstrate to potential employers, especially on LinkedIn and through your blog, that you have the right character and attitude.

Career Builder suggests that 34% of hiring managers have discovered content on social media, while screening candidates, that caused them to not hire the candidate.

So if you have just applied for a job or are currently job hunting, ensure your social media profiles are appropriate.

5 steps to be sure your social media is ‘work friendly’

1. Audit all of your social media profiles

Review every one that you have every joined.  Review all content that you have posted, shared or been tagged in, make sure its appropriate.

2. Delete, delete, delete

Remove anything that will show you in any undesirable way.

3. Inactive profiles

Delete inactive profiles that you haven’t used in over a year.

4. Set Privacy Settings

Lock down your privacy settings so you have to approve all your followers, posts, shares and tags

5. Build your personal brand

Highlight your skills, talents or anything extra you want to showcase about yourself that doesn’t fit on a CV.

The key take-away: Think before you post. Ask yourself, “how will I be perceived?” If in doubt, ask yourself, “would I show this to Grandma?” If the answer is “no,” remove it or do not post it.

Be sure to get the interview, check out 5 things a recruiter wants to see on your CV

Got the interview? Read more about our interview advice

This post was written by Alyssa Jacobs, Marketing & Social Media Manager and Matt Goodlad, Intern at Red Executive.

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