Looking for a career change? Have you been on an active job search? Finding your dream position takes more than just filling out a few employment applications. It should include a polished resume and cover letter that will demand attention front and center. But what if you’ve done tha, and you still aren’t getting a response? It could have something to do with your social media accounts. Here’s why.
Employers often use social media accounts to judge candidate suitability; if they find negative content (like swearing or offensive jokes), it could cost you the job. Whether your platform of choice is Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you need to keep it clean and presentable or lock it down. We’ll explain how to do that in this simple guide.
Here’s How Your Social Media Posts Affect Future Job Opportunities.
What Are Employers Searching For?
Should you freak out about old posts from eight years ago? Probably not unless your name is attached to an online article or trending social media post. Running a Google search of your name is a good place to start. If something comes up, try to go back to the original post and change or delete it.
Employers are looking for things such as:
- Any arrest history or involvement with a criminal act
- Drinking, drugs or party behavior on social media posts
- Bad communication skills, foul and immature language
- Photos of you engaging in inappropriate acts
- Information about jobs you didn’t list on your resume
- Bullying or attacking someone’s character
- Proof of you lying on your resume
If you have any old photos or posts on your page you don’t want your employer to see, remove them or make them private.
Change Your Privacy Settings
The three top social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. All have individual settings that allow you to control who sees what. But what if you slip up one time, or someone screenshots and reposts your negative content? It’s best to not put anything derogatory at all about yourself or others on social media. Set your privacy settings to a specific audience and be careful who you share your posts with.
It’s All About Who You Like and Follow
It’s easy for random people to search for topics you post about on social media. It takes only one quick glance at your timeline or feed for them to see your activities and personal details. Political posts (or even being vocal about extremist groups) can look bad to a future employer. While you have every right to discuss and follow who you want, keep in mind it may offend others and ultimately cost you the job.
Clean It up and Store It
If you’re worried about your page affecting how others view you, especially a future employer or business associate, clean up your page. Delete biased, controversial or inappropriate posts.
Consider cloud storage, but watch what you upload to the cloud. Planning on storing those photos of that crazy camping trip from two years ago? Just remember there’s a chance they could go public by mistake. If you don’t want the world to see, delete the photos.
Create a Professional Social Media Page
Still want to keep your social media profiles? Open a second, professional-only profile. Employers actively seek out candidates with a strong social media following. Having an active fanbase on sites like Twitter or LinkedIn means people value your voice, so work to grow your list. Show off your work, be helpful, and focus on sharing positive, informative,and uplifting posts.
It’s easy for people to see what you do and who you do it with on social media platforms. A little sleuthing and research can turn up a plethora of information about you that could affect getting the perfect job. Be mindful about what you post and leave a trail of professionalism and brilliance behind you.
~Here’s To Your Success