Social media is a common way to get to know someone in this day and age. A majority of people in society own a phone and use apps like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. The act of posting a picture, video or a reply online has become a common practice to communicate with others around us. Although it is fun to share one’s interests and values with others around the globe, employers have the ability to see these posts, which could impact your first impression in a job interview or determine if you would even get a call back.
Employers today are aware that it is almost inevitable for a employee candidate to possess a social media profile in 2018. This causes some businesses to ensure and enforce that their employees reflect the morals and ethics the business wants to display to the public. As a result, employers screen the social media of potential employees just as often as they examine a candidate’s resume. According to U.S. News, CareerBuilder reports that screening employee candidates is at its highest: 70 percent, compared to the 11 percent in 2006. This is no surprise considering there are advanced platforms in 2018 that provide more privacy settings than Facebook and MySpace had back in 2006. However, the trust society has in the privacy of social media platforms guarantees slip ups from employee candidates that could impact their career.
Values differ from business to business. Nevertheless, your social media should still be kept in a professional manner that does not raise red flags for your potential employer. Employee candidates under the age of 21, for instance, should refrain from posting pictures of illegal activities, like drinking alcohol. Your actions and opinions that are documented on your social media, which puts the reputation of the company you want to present at risk. U.S. News finds that, according to CareerBuilder, there are 11 factors that come into play when businesses have rejected a candidate. A few of these include: Provocative or inappropriate posts or information, drinking or using drugs, discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion, bad-mouthing their previous company or fellow employee and unprofessional screen names or handles.
What happens if you already have a job?
Even if you are employed, you and your social media profiles are not given immunity to employee screenings. Being employed means you no longer represent yourself on social media, you also represent your company. The same social media rules that apply to employee candidates still apply to people who are currently employed. Any red flags that are raised due to what you post online could result in you losing your job. On July 13, 2015, Rolling Stone documented 17 different stories of people getting fired because of their social media. The posts consisted of racism, shaming, discrimination, prejudice, abusive incidents involving children or the elderly and insensitive posts about current events or people. In the moment, these people broadcasted their beliefs online to connect with other like-minded people who share those beliefs; however, they failed to realize their bigotry was seen by their employers. As a result, 17 people were fired, but that’s only from one article in 2015. It is now 2018 and an even more people have gotten fired due to what they post on social media because they forgot that they represent who they work for.
Make your social media more professionally appealing
Although employers screening your social media is intimidating, there are ways to make sure your social media keeps its professional appeal. Stray away from controversial topics and make sure there are no red flags on your profile that could haunt you in the future. A bonus
point for you, and your company, would be to appropriately talk about your company’s achievements. Keep your posts to a minimum and keep private or explicit moments in your life off the internet. Your professional reputation on the internet will prevent your posts from affecting your paycheck.