Happy Halloween, Eagles! When preparing for a job search, one step that many young professionals neglect is revising their social media accounts. To ensure that your Instagram and Twitter accounts aren’t spooking employers out of hiring you, avoid the following five mistakes:
- You haven’t Googled yourself. What search results come up first? Your personal Facebook or Twitter? Are there pictures or comments on either that could potentially cost you a job? Be aware of what employers see when they Google you – because they will Google you.
- Your privacy settings are low. Use the privacy options on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to limit your who can see your pictures and posts to only friends. Remember, if your friend likes or retweets you, what you posted is now available to a larger audience.
- You are active on social media at work. If you’re taking bathroom selfies or complaining about a shift while you’re on duty and a potential employer sees it, it’s an instant red flag about your work ethic.
- You have grammatical and spelling errors in your posts. Recruiters report a greater negative response to grammar and spelling mistakes on applicants’ social media pages than references to alcohol. If you need to, Google the difference your and you’re before you post.
- You join the wrong groups. Being a member of a public group called ‘I hate Professor Smith’ or using the hashtag #jobsucks will not impress a perspective employer. Use Facebook and LinkedIn groups to show people the causes you care about or the organizations you volunteer for instead.
On a positive note, your social media content has the potential to provide employers with a positive image of your extracurricular involvement. But they also use the information they find to weed out applicants, so it is your job to make sure that the content you provide online is consistent, appropriate, and professional. (P. Ganeshan-Singh, Payscale, 2014).
To find out more about how to not horrify an employer, visit Career Development Services for tips on creating and managing your LinkedIn!