Many people today have social media profiles on different sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. There is nothing wrong with being on social media, but a measure of caution must be exercised. If your profile appears unprofessional and if what you post becomes too political, rude, or in bad taste, your career can be impacted.
When screening candidates, many recruiters, and employers will look at a potential candidate’s social media footprint and assess if their profiles are appropriate and suitable for a career in that organization.
Some might think this is unfair and that their social media profile is their own private domain. This is a false way to think. As soon as you put your thoughts out there on social media, they become accessible to the public, including employers. There have been many stories of employers who passed on interviewing candidates because they found embarrassing pictures posted online, such as selfies where the candidate was intoxicated and other moments caught on camera.
Social media can still be enjoyable, but thinking in terms of your career and potential impact on your personal brand, it’s a good idea to avoid posting the following things on social media:
Never post embarrassing photos of any kind that put you in a bad light.
You might think it is cute to post photos of yourself after a night in the town or when you had too much to drink but if potential employers see you in this kind of light they will only think of you in bad taste. This, in turn, will result in fewer job opportunities for you.
Be cautious when posting about politics.
Your personal opinions are important, but you might offend a segment of the population who do not agree with you.
Politics are an important part of self-identity but with the world being very divided by politics you could cost yourself an interview if your politics differ from a hiring manager or recruiter beliefs. Keep out of political discussions to prevent potential employers from rejecting your application.
Never post anything that is of bad taste.
If you are not sure is something is of bad taste, then don’t take the chance—don’t post it.
Anything that can potentially offend or insult anyone should not be posted on social media. If you are not sure if something is offensive the rule of thumb is not to post it on social media.
Never post something that could be perceived as rude or obnoxious, as this will make people see you in a negative light.
One person’s impulse for humor might differ from others. To avoid potential employers from rejecting your application do not post offensive rude and obnoxious items.
Stay away from posting about controversial topics. Doing so may turn some people off.
You might have had a chance at your dream job when all out a sudden a potential employer sees a post about a controversial topic you had posted on social media and that one shot at your dream job is now over.
Get rid of past social media posts that may paint you in a negative manner
This is what I suggest: look through your social media profiles and delete any pictures or posts that match the above criteria. This could take time but won’t that be worth not losing out on your dream job.
By having professional social media profiles, you will reduce the likelihood of potential employers drawing a negative conclusion about you based on your profiles. This, in turn, will prevent you from being disqualified as a candidate. With a professional presence on social media, not only will you build your personal brand, you’ll go further in the selection process, perhaps even landing that coveted job.