Your Social Media Profile Could be the Difference Between an Offer and a Rejection
It’s no secret that your online presence follows you. As they say, once something is on the internet, it’s there forever. So, job seekers need to be careful about what they post on their personal social media profiles – because companies are looking!
A new survey by The Manifest, a business news website, found that 79% of companies have rejected a job candidate because of social media content. The survey, which included 505 U.S. employers, also found that 90% of businesses review candidates’ social media profiles as a part of their hiring process.
Due to this, it’s important to have clean, professional social media profiles. Outside of your resume and cover letter, they’re the employers’ first impression of you.
What Content to Avoid
It’s smart to avoid any content that paints you in a negative light. It is also prudent to avoid posting any controversial content. This could include political discourse, negative reviews of brands, or topics that lead to heated discussions.
Some general guidelines of topics to avoid on social media include:
- Hate Speech. Any post disparaging another group should always be avoided. This includes any post that contains racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other form of hate.
- Partying, Alcohol & Drugs. What you do in your free time is your choice, however, employers may not look favorably on those choices. Having pictures on Facebook or Instagram showcasing heavy partying, drinking, or drug use will not win you any favors.
- Illegal Content. This should go without saying, but including any illegal content on your profile is never a good idea.
- Improper Spelling & Grammar. While this isn’t as bad of an offense as those listed above, it still isn’t a good thing to have online. Any use of improper spelling or grammar paints you as careless, which is not a good look for future employers.
- Confidential Information. Never share confidential information about past employers online. In most cases, it isn’t legal, and it also reflects poorly on your character.
- Negative Rants. Ranting on the internet, especially on social media platforms like Twitter, has become the norm. But it’s not a good look from the perspective of a future employer. It’s best to keep your rants to yourself or to your friends, rather than voicing them to the world.
Cleaning Up Your Profiles
With all this in mind, it’s important to begin cleaning up your profiles to ensure they only reflect positive things about you. Deleting old posts, clearing out your likes, and untagging yourself from photos is a good first step. But it’s also important to consider what profiles you want to remain public.
Often, it’s smart to have two profiles on each social media site. For example, you can have one Instagram just for friends and family where you post whatever you want, and another for the public to see where you curate your posts to be professional. The first Instagram account would be private, so only your followers can see your posts.
Making certain profiles private is a good way to clean up your online presence without losing out on communicating openly on social media. This allows you to remain professional when future employers search your name on Google.
In 2020 we all have to accept that our online presence makes a difference in our lives. It’s important to curate the presence you want and ensure it helps you, rather than hinders you.
- “Nearly 80% of Firms Said ‘No’ to Candidates Because of Social Media Content.” SIA, 28 April 2020.
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