Do you ever think that what you post onto your social media, could affect a potential employer’s decision to hire you? You may not think it, but a study carried out by the Society for Human Resource Management, found that 43% of employers check on a job applicant’s social media presence during the selection process. This may seem like a high number, but with the advancement of technology and the fact that 2.34 billion people (statista.com) now use it in their everyday lives to communicate and keep up to date with others, it shouldn’t be surprising that potential employers will use it too. SHRM have also found that 36% of companies have disqualified some of their candidates because of what they have found through an online search of the candidate or on their social media profiles.
Whenever we post something on social media, we should always think twice before doing so. If you have just applied for a job, you should be extra cautious, and you should be aware that your potential new employer could be looking at your social media!
Red flags that would pop up to a potential employer whilst looking at your social media would be:
Being vulgar or offensive. The SHRM found that a fifth of people they carried the research out upon had posted a derogatory comment on social media. Swearing, inappropriate comments and bullying/trolling are all obvious big no-no’s. Employers are thinking that if you are willing to stay stuff like this online, what’s to stop you from swearing or bullying other colleagues?
Complaining about work. If a potential employer sees that you are complaining about your current job or co-workers, this will look very bad. The SHRM has found that 33% of people use social media as a platform to vent about work. It’s not good to air your dirty laundry on social media, as it will just come back to bite you. Your online profiles are an online representation of yourself, so you don’t want to come across badly or negatively. Complaining about your last job suggests to your potential employer that you will do the same thing if you work for them. They don’t want to have to deal with the backlash of you speaking badly about co-workers or customers online.
Being under the influence. The SHRM found that 48% of respondents have photos of themselves under the influence, or in the presence, of drugs or alcohol on their social media. It’s not unusual for people to go out and have a drink and have fun, but there have been many an instance when employees have been under the influence and made inappropriate comments via their social media, and it has landed them in trouble at work. You don’t want to get in trouble for something you don’t remember doing.
Being too private. It will look suspicious to a potential employer if all your accounts are private or if you have made it difficult to be found on social media. It may look like you have something to hide, even though you may not. Also, if your profile is very vanilla, it can translate to what you are like in real life. It may make the employer not want to give you a second look as your online profile makes you come across as boring or you don’t have anything to say.
Too many selfies. The phenomenon of selfies is very prominent in this day and age, but can too many be hindering your employability? Too many selfies can come across as narcissistic and may be seen as unprofessional. Especially if it is a scandalous selfie or you are exposing too much of yourself online. It may not have been supposed to come across in that way, but if you are applying for a professional positon, you are going to have to come across as a professional person.
Poor attention to detail. With spell check readily available on nearly all devices, there really is no reason to be making grammatical errors. This is another example of why you should double check before you post anything. A grammatical error in a post can suggest to an employer that you are careless, and they don’t want you making any carless errors whilst working for them.
Remember, things that go online are rarely private, so be careful what you put out there.