I have heard the argument on both sides about social media. On one side are those who support that social media is a personal, and therefore, private expression. It’s an online journal of sorts or a way for the timid to share their opinions without judgment; in a sense, letting everyone be able to just let it all hang out. And if you don’t like what you see, then don’t look.
And on the side, the internet is public, not unlike Grand Central Station, where all can come to congregate, share ideas, and as an all-age audience, should be toned down and posts should always be polite and acceptable with the utmost respect.
There is some merit to both sides of the equation. After all, if you’re an employer and don’t like what you see from a prospective candidate, you could opt not to look, and on the other side…. Yeah, not going to happen. Novel concept, but shock and awe will usually trump civility. Especially when over 70 percent of employers now use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process.
Put yourself in the employer’s shoes
Now let’s look at the subject logically. No matter how much you want it to be considered private, the internet is a public forum and therefore any privacy is removed the second you hit send, post, or tweet. With that in mind, take a look at the image that you are portraying online.
As a recruiter, the thought process I always have is, if a future employer were to look you up on social media platforms, what message would you be sending? Would they be turned off by what they see and read? Now I am not suggesting that you can’t be yourself, or share your opinions, but my recommendation is to take a look at yourself through a prospective employer’s eyes. Would you hire you? If the answer is no, then make some adjustments…. Your future (employed) self will thank you.