Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Most of us wake up and immediately check our phones to see what we missed during the time we were asleep. Looking around at a restaurant or any other public place, most people are glued to their hand-held devices and are updating their statuses or checking up on what’s going on. Our world has entered a digital age, where social media has taken priority in our lives. Whether that’s good or bad, it’s important to realize the impact of our social media posts.
In a job search, you may be the best candidate, but when an employer sees that picture of you from Spring Break doing a keg stand, you may not be the favorite anymore. It’s important to remember that what you post is not just visible to your friends, but is searchable and can be found by anyone. For example, 94% of employers use LinkedIn for recruitment purposes. Next, 93% of employers will look at a candidate’s social media profile before hiring them or not. Furthermore, 55% of employers have changed their hiring decision based on a candidate’s profile. Check out this infographic from Jobvite’s “Social Recruiting Survey Results 2014” presentation, showcasing the reasons why employers changed their minds:
Scary, right? Here are some tips to avoid any issues in the future:
1. Google yourself! Hey, you may not be a famous person, but your information and pictures will pop up. Doing a quick search will allow you to see what employers can see if they Google you. For instance, if you do not update your settings in Pinterest, all of your pins show up when your name is Googled.
2. Check your privacy settings. On Facebook, you can set it so that when someone tags you in a picture, you can allow it to go on your Timeline or not. So those party pictures or any unflattering pictures? They don’t have to show up. This also helps because if you are tagged in a picture, anyone can do a picture search to see photos you’re tagged in, but you have the power to allow yourself to be tagged or not! So, avoid any awkward situations by checking those privacy settings.But, beware even if your privacy levels are high, there are still public areas where your posts may be seen. Some groups are public viewing even though you must be a member of the group to post, like the USFSP Know It All’s Guide to Knowing It All.
3. Be positive! We can have some rough days and sometimes you just gotta vent, right? Well, don’t vent over Social Media. Find a different outlet, such as a friend, a journal, or something more private. We can get caught up in our emotions, that’s okay, but posting them as a status, could deter employers and others and give people the wrong idea.
4. Don’t overshare. “Just woke up and I had the craziest dream about _______,” “Heading to the gym! #gains,” “Ugh, don’t you hate it when people let you down. Like why you gotta be so rude! #overit” — Okay, we get it, some meals you have are super delicious or your working hard to get in shape, but when you start posting every day about what you eat, where you go, what you’re doing, etc, people will start to get annoyed. Tell your friends or family about the happenings of your life or your secrets, not Facebook or Twitter. Remember that nothing is private. For example, with recent leaks of SnapChats, thousands of users didn’t even know their snaps were saved by receivers.
5. Think before you post! Ask yourself, “How will others react when they read this?,” “Is this necessary?” — Asking questions like this will allow you to rethink some statuses that may not be proper to post. YikYak may be anonymous, but what if someone hacks in and leaks posts linked to usernames?
Social Media is great, but remember that it can impact your job search and other aspects of your life. It’s simple, think before you post! Use these Social Media Strategies and also utilize Social Media to help with your job search! Reach out to your followers or professionals in your field, follow organizations, and utilize professional sites, like LinkedIn, to discover organizations, professionals, and opportunities. By sprucing up your profile and becoming more aware of what you post, your job search and your professional realm will be better!
Statistics came from Jobvite’s “Social Recruiting Survey Results 2014.”