Nearly everyone uses social media to connect these days. You probably have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile. Many of us have all three. Social media can be a valuable tool when it comes to networking in your job search. Unfortunately, it can also be the reason you fail to get hired. Many employers do an online search to determine the character of potential hires. Avoid these six social media blunders during your job search if you want to make a favorable impression.
1. Not Securing Your Settings
You may be a very open person, but such transparency can be your downfall during the job hunting process. Take time to ensure that your privacy settings are locked down while you are looking for a job. Public settings allow anyone, including curious potential employers, to see everything that you post.
2. Discussing Controversial Topics
While you want to feel free to be yourself online, now is not the time to be vocal about controversial topics such as politics. It would be nice to think that your passion would be appreciated by employers, but the fact is that there are those who may feel you won’t be a good fit for the company’s culture. Unfortunately, there are others who would simply choose to pass you over because of the fact that they don’t like your views. It’s best to avoid controversy until you’ve been hired and have become comfortable in your new working environment.
3. Talking About Unprofessional Work Antics
This piece of advice may seem obvious, but it needs to be stated. Don’t talk about any less than stellar behavior you may have displayed at your current or past jobs. You may be burnt out and resentful about your current work conditions, but it’s never a good idea to go online and brag about how you’re wasting the afternoon on Twitter or that you’ve been late every day this week. Displaying a poor work ethic can definitely rule you out of future jobs.
4. Bashing Your Boss
Along these lines, never badmouth your boss or your workplace while looking for a new job. It’s poor form, and it makes you look very unprofessional. No one will want to hire someone who publicly talks badly about their current workplace and seems to have a negative attitude because it may seem likely you’ll carry that same negative attitude into their workplace.
5. Showing Unflattering Photos
No, it doesn’t matter if you don’t look your prettiest in the selfie you posted from the football game. However, pictures of your drunk antics with a beer in your hand might. Even if your account settings are locked down, it is possible for photos and other information to be revealed in a Google search. It’s best not to take any chances and just avoid posting these types of unflattering pictures.
6. Not Monitoring Your Friends’ Comments
Part of the fun of social media is the interaction and the conversation it allows. However, even the behavior of your friends can influence the way you are perceived by potential employers. So be sure to take time to oversee everything that is written on your online accounts. Delete comments or tweets that may be taken as offensive or crude.
Taking steps to maintain a professional presence online while job hunting only makes sense. You want to put forth only your best impression in your social media activities, just as you would during an interview. We’ve all heard stories of people losing jobs or failing to get hired because of something they’ve posted online. Avoid these social media blunders during your job search so that it doesn’t happen to you.