Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat. These are all tools we use every day to communicate and connect with people near and far. We post pictures, videos, life updates, and even discuss politics and social issues.
It’s important to think about how a prospective or current employer might view your online behavior. Before you post, do you think, how would this look on a resume?
The truth is, we’re probably not thinking like that at all. Sometimes, we realize our mistakes when it’s too late – you get a call back from an interview that went well, but then they Googled your name and that picture of you at a toga party pops up. Yikes. This doesn’t only apply to recent college grads though. In these politically turbulent times, it’s fairly easy for emotions to get out of hand. Before you know it, you’ve been downright mean to a complete stranger. That doesn’t exactly scream “hire me!”
According to The Muse, one in three employers reject candidates based on what they find online. Here are some tips for maintaining and protecting your social media identity.
- Photos and videos. “A photo can say a thousand words,” some of which can be “no” if an employer sees an inappropriate one. Having a lot of photos from bars or clubs could send the message of being irresponsible and immature. Show other sides of yourself and interests you have!
- Ranting or venting. Using social media as a venue to release steam or opinions about an issue you care about can come off unprofessional. Also, disagreeing or debating with others in an immature way can tarnish your reputation. Keeping these to a minimum, or moving them into private chats, can help to alleviate this issue.
- What and who you follow. Are the pages you follow representative of your current interests? Or are they from 10 years ago? Make sure you’re okay with other people knowing what you follow. It’s also never a bad idea to follow what’s current in your professional industry.
- Google yourself. The Huffington Post states that 80 percent of employers look up prospective employees before inviting them to an interview. Make sure the first few pages of your search is what you want them to see before you apply.
It’s incredibly important to remember that once you put something out there, it can exist forever. That’s right, you’re no-holds-barred argument you had with your cousin about politics can easily be screenshotted and used at a later date. In this case, it might be wiser to save it for the holiday dinner table—much like the days before social media took over!
Guest Blogger: Morgan Grunow