HOW SOCIAL MEDIA CAN SABOTAGE YOUR JOBFINDING EFFORTS?

 

Do you remember that online argument where you gave somebody a piece of your mind?

Or that embarrassing photo at your birthday party?

Maybe you don’t remember, but the internet does.

And that’s why one of the first things employers do with job applicants is to check their social media accounts. It’s a fast, cheap and effective way to filter out unsuitable candidates. Companies invest a lot of time and effort in building their brand. That’s why they will reject any candidates demonstrating antisocial or inappropriate behaviour.

Whatever the privacy settings on your social media accounts you should assume anything you post will be shared. It’s very easy to copy and paste or take screenshots.

We’re not saying don’t use social media. Just bear in mind whatever you post can be used as evidence against you.

Let’s have a look at the various sites and how they should be managed.

FACEBOOK

With close to 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla of social media sites. People generally see it as a platform to share information with their closest friends and family but also work colleagues.

Privacy is an issue on Facebook, in general, but it’s even more of an issue when you’re jobhunting. If you’re not careful, everything you post on Facebook can be seen by your current employer or a potential new one. Let’s face it, how many of the hundreds of ‘friends’ you have on Facebook do you actually know? Inappropriate comments and/or photos can cost you a good job offer.

Imagine this: You are applying for a new job and you presenting yourself as a professional, but on your Facebook page you have some not so professional photos or comments (religious, racist, sexist or in any way discriminative). Because of that, you might not even get invited for the interview.

You should also be careful when you have a job. You can have a good relationship with your managers but bear in mind that they do not have to know everything about you. The more you say about yourself in today’s online world, the more information you reveal to the public, the more probability there is that you will lose control over the volume of the data you are sharing. The best would be not to post anything you wouldn’t mind an employer or potential employer seeing. Don’t send messages that you wouldn’t want someone to save or share. Make sure to check your Facebook privacy settings, but don’t depend on them because they’re known to change often without notification.

TWITTER

This is an online news and social networking service where users post messages called tweets, restricted to only 140 characters. Twitter users need to be particularly careful because posts on that social media site are archived. They are often shared quickly and can rapidly go viral. So, even if you delete a tweet, it still might appear via a cached search or somebody has a screenshot they can retweet.

All this means it is a really good idea to watch what you tweet. If you have already crossed the line of good decorum at least once, go through your posts, delete the dangerous ones and pray nobody finds them.

Hopefully, Donald Trump is reading this blog post as well J

INSTAGRAM

Unlike Facebook, Instagram is focused more on photos and you use it mainly on your phone. You can log in from a computer but some functions are limited from there.

The difference is also in privacy. On both social networks (FB and Instagram) you can set your profile to only be visible to people in your contacts and on Facebook this works quite well. On the other hand, on Instagram, pretty much anyone who knows how to use ‘hashtags’ can see your (locked!) profile as well as your connections. This, of course, could be used the other way around, and you can also see pictures from different places and people. But it also means that you don’t have much of control of who can see your photos.

SNAPCHAT

Awesome app! Photos taken and shared with amazing and funny filters and it can only be viewed for 10 seconds. BUT it might not be so temporal after all. Any picture or message could be recorded via screenshot. And cause a lot of problems. Not only when you are on job hunt. Again, share wisely and anything you would not your employer or grandma to see, do not post.

LINKEDIN

Probably the most popular social network in terms of job searches.

While on Facebook you share more fun stuff with your friends, on LinkedIn you will meet professionals. This is the closest you’ll find to a work environment so people are generally quite self-censoring anyway. If you are sharing cat videos and having political arguments on LinkedIn, you haven’t understood the purpose of the site.

Here you can advertise your job availability by posting business and job-related information about your studies, experience and work successes. You can also increase your network by following companies that you are interested in, joining discussions and posting articles.

So, to sum up.

It is not necessary to ‘freak out’ and give up your social profiles. They can be a great way to stay connected to old friends and help you make new ones and to stay informed. You should think about following some rules. This applies not only when you are searching for a new job but when you have your colleagues and managers among your connections. Keep checking your privacy settings (especially after your phone software updates), change your password frequently, don’t enable auto login etc.

But remember – when you’re looking for work, your social network matters. J

If you want to increase your network why not connect with me or People Place on LinkedIn?

Send me a connection request by clicking here  Lenka Nemcova  or  email me by clicking here . Or alternatively follow People Place on Linkedin by clicking here. We will be glad to expand our network with you.

Look forward to connecting!

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This post was written by Lenka Nemcova, Recruitment & Account Management Consultant.

Lenka joined the Group in 2015 as a Recruitment Support Consultant, and has been successfully working her way up to her current position. Lenka is responsible for career coaching & consulting, recruitment strategies and client account management support. Working closely with managers across many disciplines within the employment market in the Czech Republic and Central Europe, ensuring recruitment quality delivery and client satisfaction is always at the highest standards.

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