It’s 2018, and almost everyone has at least one social media account. 81 percent of Americans have at least one social media profile. And employers are aware of this. In fact, 93% of recruiters and human resource professionals check out candidates’ social media profiles before extending a job offer.
Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, the content you publish on these sites can prevent you from landing your next job. Here are some things to avoid to ensure your social media doesn’t ruin your chances of being hired.
Bad mouthing your employer, job, or clients
We’ve all been frustrated with our job or employer at times. And if you work in a customer service-oriented industry, you’ve probably been irritated with a customer/client as well. However, social media isn’t the appropriate place to vent about your feelings towards your co-workers or clients.
Don’t complain or bad mouth anyone you work with. If a prospective employer sees any post like this, it will surely leave a bad taste in their mouth. If you have any old posts bashing someone you work with, please do yourself a favor and delete these posts.
I do not have to go into great detail here; everyone knows what they should and shouldn’t be posting on social media. And if you even have to question whether it’s appropriate to post, it’s probably best to not post it.
Use your common sense and avoid posting/sharing/retweeting/liking something that could offend or scare off a potential employer. Avoid posting anything extremely political, offensive, or controversial.
If you have any old pictures that you wouldn’t want an employer to see, remove them. I would advise you to go through all of your old photos and ensure there is nothing incriminating or embarrassing on there. It may seem like a hassle but it is totally worth the time to ensure your social media doesn’t affect your job search!
Delete old profiles you no longer use
Have any old profiles you maybe forgot about? Is there an old Myspace profile handing out there with tons of embarrassing posts? Have duplicate LinkedIn profiles with one having out-of-date working information? Get these cleaned up before you even submit your application, so you don’t hurt your chances of some old or inaccurate information about you being discovered.
Do a quick Google search with your full name and your city. For example, search “John Smith Dallas, TX” and see what pops up. You may be surprised with what will generate in search results when you search your name and location. If you find an old social media account, recover it and either clean it up or take it down entirely.
Update your social media privacy settings
At the very least, update your privacy settings on your social media accounts so others cannot see your content without your permission. You can easily make your Instagram and Twitter accounts private. This will require people to request permission before they can see your content. Additionally, you can update your Facebook so other users cannot see your content on your newsfeed unless you accept them as a friend.
Just be sure to update your profile and cover photos! Almost anyone will be able to see them (regardless of your privacy settings) as they check out your profiles during the recruiting process.