With social media on the rise and no end in sight, it’s important for those on the hunt for a new job to comb through their social media accounts to find anything that may cost them the job.
Some don’t realize that their actions on social media can affect their job prospects. Monster asks, “Do you perceive your social media profiles/presence more as an asset or liability?” Forty percent of respondents answered that it neither is an asset nor liability.
A spotless resume and well-constructed cover letter can be easily tossed in the trash if the online profile paints a different picture. According to Vicki Salemi, a Career Expert for Monster, employers are looking for things they consider unprofessional and they’re also looking for inconsistencies.
A picture on Facebook or tweet may seem funny, but consider how a hiring professional will see it. Employers want a candidate that can represent the company; and your actions on social media can show them an unfavorable side of you.
Don’t be caught in a lie. You wouldn’t want something on your profile to contradict what you said on your resume or in an interview.
“Maybe the candidate said they left a job because they were burned out and wanted to travel,” said Salemi. “But their Twitter feed reveals that they were let go and didn’t travel at all – instead they were on a staycation in their backyard.”
Anything unsavory or inconsistent will give the hiring professionals a reason to pass over your application in favor for another. Additionally, even if you land the job, your social media actions can jeopardize your position.
“I’ve seen employees get fired because they carelessly posted something unprofessional on social media – even on their private Facebook account,” said Salemi.
According to Colorado news station, Denver 7, Texas Roadhouse recently fired a waitress at its Colorado location because she tweeted “If we had a real life purge I would kill as many Mexicans as I could in one night #learnhowtotipyou [expletive].”
There are many positive ways that your social media presence can actually help you get and keep a job. Depending on the position you’re applying for, employers may look to your social media profiles to see if you demonstrate your skills.
“[Employers might search for] a candidate’s online portfolio,” said Salemi. “For instance, if the candidate pursues a job in social media or for something creative like a headline writer, checking out their Twitter feeds is an effective way for employers to gain insight into the candidate’s creativity and writing chops.”
Sometimes hiring professionals are trying to learn about your personality, and your social media accounts are a good place to start.
“Someone’s social feed can say a lot about them in terms of ethics, professionalism and voice,” said Salemi. “Social media accounts, in a positive way, can shed light on characteristics of a candidate that employers may not otherwise see.”
So instead of straying away from your favorite social media sites, you can use them to boost your chances at landing the job. But they just might need a quick look-over before showtime.
Alternatively, you can utilize the privacy settings on your accounts. Even if you use strict privacy settings, Salemi has a few words of caution, “Assume nothing is private and think before you post.”