According to the Pew Research Internet Project, approximately 74% of those with access to the internet use social media. Included in that 74% are recruiters, headhunters, and hiring managers looking to get a better view of who you are as a person. Companies are becoming more interested in the whole life of their employees, either to help create company culture fits or to weed out those that may not fit from the start.
The reality is, some of those Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram posts can land you in serious hot water. Let’s remember the young woman who was fired before her first day at a pizza place because she decided to complain about it on her Twitter account. It’s your choice to share, but keep in mind you could be risking your chances of getting a new job or even keeping the position you already have.
Your social pages are basically your personal advertisements. You’re building a brand here, people!
- Be outgoing.
- Be yourself.
- But be conscious.
What’s your end goal? Are you on these channels to network with desired industry insiders? Socialize? Either way, people are looking, from friends to the public. Don’t let your social media channels hold you back.
Pay close attention to these tips on what to leave off the web – for good:
Complaints About Your Current Job or Internship
This is one of the worst offenses someone can make. If you’ve had a bad day, week, or month, the last place to vent is online. Your current employer may never see your comments, but there’s always the chance a future employer will. Or worse – a fellow employee with a chip on his or her shoulder. Also, recruiters and hiring managers will look at how you present yourself online during an internship or work you currently and form an opinion about how you may act online in the future.
Also, the way you interact with your school, professors, and administration online will be watched as well. To sum it up, how you interact with people is important as it does reflect on your personality and ability to blend into community culture.
Takeaway: Save yourself the drama, and address the situation head-on in person but not online. Even if you and your manager don’t end up seeing eye-to-eye, you’ve earned their respect in the workplace.
Passive Aggressive Comments
There’s a lyric to go with every mood, person, and situation. That doesn’t mean you need to put those cryptic words on blast to your 700+ Facebook friends when someone at work crosses you. Nine times out of ten you’ll delete this post later, making it seem like you can’t handle your emotions.
Takeaway: Leave the salt for your food. Grudges can only last so long, but your social-savvy friends and coworkers will always remember the time you called them out – not so discreetly.
Inappropriate Photos and Videos
While you may have already deleted all your Facebook albums after starting to read this article, don’t forget to look at your tagged photos as well. These are often overlooked – but not by employers or recruiters. If you have public accounts, employers can use these images as a benchmark of how you’ll perform on the job. Private accounts are not as private as you think. Photos and videos can be shared, and screenshots can be made. Some very popular memes were created from private photos.
Takeaway: Snap your best foot forward. What if your Instagram was filled with such great food shots, your manager hires you to be the official ‘grammer’ of the company? Leave your options open. Keep it clean, folks!
In The End, Do you.
If you’re thinking, filters be damned – I’m posting whatever I want, whenever i want, then make your page private. Most social media platforms allow for customized privacy settings.
Our tip? Use social media, but use it wisely. Put the same efforts into your posts as you do in choosing the right Instagram filter. And if you currently have a job – don’t use social on your shift.