Nothing can stand in your way. Right?
Have you checked out your social media presence lately?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest…the list goes on. You might use one of them or all of them but to a relative stranger your presence on these platforms can shape their opinion of your entire character and identity.
And damage it too.
More and more employers are ‘checking out’ likely looking candidates by scrolling through their publicly accessible social media accounts.
This can be a double-edged sword – a positive social media presence could actually improve your chances of being offered the job for instance if there is loads of evidence of involvement in charity events or community support activity.
A negative social media presence could turn a potential yes into a resounding no.
- Using vulgar images and bad language – this includes posting potentially offensive ‘memes’, for example with regards to negative opinions on diversity.
- Complaining about employers and/or colleagues seems obvious doesn’t it?! But people do this more often than you think…the safest way to think is if you wouldn’t say it to their face, DON’T post it on social media!
- Uploading photos from drunken nights out, or making references to excessive drinking or drug taking – Just don’t. This is never a good idea. Especially when you’re applying for a position is a career where people’s lives may depend on your actions.
- Posting ‘gym selfies’, or just posting too many selfies – your toned abs may be your most prized body part but posting one too many photos could cause you to be labeled as shallow or self-centred. Not ideal for someone in a career where you may have to put your life on the line to protect the public.
- Repeated spelling errors or bad grammar – it’s unprofessional and shows a serious lack of attention to detail.
Are you guilty of any of these?
If so it might be time to do a quick recap of your posts to date and clean up your accounts.
Using the ‘view as’ function or looking at your account through a friend’s login can give you a better idea of how you appear in the public eye.
And don’t forget to review your privacy and tagging settings!
What your mates might think is a hilarious photo of you might not have the same appeal for your chosen place of employment.
Of course social media is a fun place where you shouldn’t feel completely restricted about what you put online – but just pause for a second before you press the ‘post’ button.
Once something has been seen it’s hard for it to be ‘unseen’, and unfortunately when somebody doesn’t know you (like a potential employer) they can make a snap judgement.
Just think about it, keep it clean and present the self you’d want to present to any potential employer. Make your social media work in your favour!
Use a bit of common sense and you’ll be just fine!