Do you ever wonder why you got so close to getting that dream job and the company suddenly lost interest in you? Maybe they told you that an internal candidate got the job or that the company went through a hiring freeze. This may or may not have been true.
Looking at things from the employer’s point of view, many people lose job offers because of bad choices they make using social media. Even if an employer only knows the basics, he can type any person’s name into Google and can find out just about anything, including their blogs, blog comments, Facebook, MySpace (yes, it still exists), LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, criminal record, etc.
As a recruiter, I have more weapons in my arsenal and can even find old tweets, regardless if you have your Twitter account marked as private.
Social media can be your best friend or worst enemy. Employers don’t want to see you passed out at a bar, making obscene gestures, or mostly undressed. They also don’t want to see you bashing race, religion, gender, sexual preference, or your current job.
It seems like common sense, right? I’ve seen great candidates lose job offers because of tasteless pictures and comments. Just remember that everything you post is public. Ask the question, “Would I want my grandmother to read or see this?”
In the past six months, I know people who have lost out on great job opportunities because of what they posted on Twitter (making fun of other people), pictures they had on Facebook (too disturbing to share), and another who got into trouble with the law (domestic violence).
Even as I write this blog, I have read it over numerous times to be completely sure that I don’t say anything offensive to anybody. My current and potential clients and candidates will be reading this so it’s essential that I always remain professional.
You’re probably thinking, “I have some things out there I’d rather not people see.” Here are my top five recommendations:
1.) Don’t post inappropriate pictures or make any comments on the web that could be offensive to anybody. If they’re already up, delete them now!
2.) Mark all of your settings on any type of social media as private. Don’t let people who aren’t connected to you view your pictures or read your comments. If your friends posted ridiculous comments, delete them now!
3.) If you want to share your personal beliefs, call a friend. Don’t share them through social media.
4.) Google yourself because future employers will. If you find things that you don’t think a future employer would like, find a way to get rid of it!
5.) I’ve shared all of the negative things about social media but don’t forget that there are a lot of positive things too. If you’re actively volunteering, fundraising, running a marathon, or writing a motivational blog, these are all things that can help you get a job. Make sure these are public to future employers.
I hope this helps and good luck in the job search! As always, I welcome any public comments (as long as you follow the rules above) or feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.