When was the last time you googled yourself to see what comes up? Maybe you should start doing it more often to see your online presence! Did you know that more and more employers are monitoring their employee’s social media activity and behaviour? Most employers now search social media profiles of perspective new employees before offering them a position within their business? Here’s a list of a few social media bad habits that you should leave behind in 2015 before they could cost you your career.
In 2014, a social recruiting survey that was conducted by Jobvite found that social media has become an essential recruitment tool across all industries. Meaning, what you post on your social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram…) could really make or break your future. Something to think about.
Here are some of their findings:
- 97% use LinkedIn for recruiting, 66% use Facebook, 52% use Twitter, whilst 21% use Google plus
- 73% of recruiters have hired a candidate through social media
- 93% of recruiters will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision
- 55% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social profile with 61% of those reconsiderations being negative
According to another survey conducted by CareeeBuilder, more employers are finding negative content on social media sites than are finding positive content. It revealed that more than half said they had found provocative and inappropriate photographs or information, 44% found content about drug and/or alcohol use; 35% found potential hires posting negative comments about previous employers or co-workers, and 29% found evidence of poor communication skills.
Now that we are aware that social media does influence your potential employer’s decision to hire you, it’s best to think about making the right impression when you upload your next photo, or post your next comment. We’ve put together a list of a few tips that can help you manage your personal brand online.
Choose the photos you post wisely
As much as these are your personal social accounts and you have every right to post anything on them; you should think twice about posting every photo. We all like to share and celebrate a good time with friends and family, but is your wall full of photos of you a little worse for wear due to alcohol consumption? A picture of a nice dinner with friends enjoying a glass of wine is fine; a picture of you asleep or passed out on the floor holding a beer is not. If you have these or have been tagged by friends make sure you take time to clean up your wall before it could cost you a career opportunity of a lifetime!
Watch your grammar and that nasty predictive text!
It is very important to triple check your posts before clicking the share button for grammar. Who would want to hire someone who can’t spell properly? You have no excuse for this one because some social media accounts have the edit tool and most phones used have a spelling check tool. It might be Facebook or Twitter, but spelling and grammar are as important to perspective employers. And predictive text has unhinged a lot of applicants in the past. It’s not your fault your device changes certain words (it’s happened to all of us at some point that the word we thought we posted has turned in to something utterly bizarre!); but it is your fault if you haven’t checked it! Review all of it before pushing that ‘post’ button.
Stop criticizing previous employers, clients or co-workers
This is a no brainer. Put yourself in the shoes of the potential employer – would you hire someone who was publicly being negative about their employer or colleagues? How long would it be before you were the subject of their ire on their social media platforms? Posting negative content about your job, employer or co-workers says a lot about your work ethic and character. We understand you might be angry, however social media is not a place to vent it. If you are doing it, stop it before it’s too late.
Don’t lie about qualifications on your profiles
We know how great it looks to have all your qualifications and fancy job titles for all your high school friends to see, however, honesty is always the best policy. Make sure what you’ve listed on your profile is what you really have earned and experienced. Employers are searching for candidates online and trying to come up with a copy of your fictional Master’s degree when requested to produce it by an employer will certainly be your undoing!
Be careful! Your opinion could be used against you
We all know that social media was meant for you to be social, be involved in debates and online discussions. However one needs to be careful with the opinions they make in public especially on sensitive issues like religion, politics, sexuality and other pressing issues. Your opinions when put out into the digital world can follow you forever. Many potential future presidents of the United States have had to pull out of the race because of quotes they made while in varsity. One day they were on the path to becoming the most powerful leader in the world, the next they were back to their day job; all because of an ill-conceived comment made when they were in their early twenties. This is a harsh reality, but a very real one. Employers will always shrink away from perspective employees who have expressed online opinions that are wholly in conflict with their own opinions or their company culture.