Social media is a great thing in so many ways. It helps us keep up with friends and family in different states and different countries, it allows us to share those special life events with the people who matter and it makes tracking down those old friends and old love interests so much easier… When it comes to job hunting, however, there is a dark side to social media.
More and more recruiters admit to checking potential candidates out online, and many say that they’ve turned candidates down because of what they’ve seen. Everything we post online leaves a trail, from flattering Instagram selfies to late night video shares on Facebook – if you don’t have your privacy settings up at the maximum level, any ill-judged sharing may be seen by more than just your friends and family.
So what things turn employers off, and could social media be costing you your dream job?
• Swearing – We’re probably all guilty of letting a few swear words slip into a conversation among friends. Post them online, however, and they’re there for everyone to see. Employers hate to see candidates casually dropping in bad language, so watch your mouth online.
• References to Drink or Drugs – If you’ve had a ‘good’ weekend, it’s perhaps not a wise move to let the rest of the world know about it. Who wants to hire someone who regularly posts photos of themselves and their friends getting hosed, or worse?
• Political Posts – Posting about your political beliefs may seem harmless and personal, yet taking a stand on controversial topics can be off putting for employers. Make sure to keep most of your opinions off of public pages where anyone can view them.
• Poor Spelling and Grammar – You might not think it matters in the online world, but poor grammar and spelling in your posts could cost you in the real world. You should be as careful with language in your online activity as you would be writing a report at work.
• Showing Off – If you like to use social media as a way of informing the world just how brilliant you are, be careful. Don’t do too much showing off about your success at work/success with the opposite sex/your wonderful holiday/your perfect home – all these things send recruiters running.
• Vanity – We all love a good selfie. Or two. But perhaps some of us love them too much. If your social media feeds are a constant stream of beautiful pictures of yourself, potential employers will not be as impressed as your family and friends might be…
• Inappropriate Images or Videos – They might seem funny to you and your friends – especially after a couple of drinks – but those silly (perhaps even verging on offensive) videos and memes might not be to everyone’s tastes. Beware the content you share.
We’re often fooled into thinking that what we do online has little or no impact on our offline lives. With so many people happy to over-share and forgetting that their privacy settings aren’t in total lock-down to all but friends and family, it’s little wonder potential employers satisfy their curiosity with a bit of internet ‘research’.
Always think twice before you post anything, and ask yourself if it’s something you’d be happy for the rest of the world to see. Here at Adzuna, we’re all too aware of the power of the internet. It can do harm, but it can also do incredible good. Head online to Adzuna to start the search for your dream job – just make sure you’ve cleaned up your Facebook page and Twitter feed first!