Most of us use multiple social media accounts each day (I know I do!) as it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world, and it allows us to share details of our lives with those people as well. Whether it’s through photos of your children or your frequent status updates, you have an easy way to communicate with people in real-time.
I’ve seen everything on my timeline from what color underwear people are wearing on any particular day, to what they ate for breakfast last week and how long they might want to sit on the toilet for after lunch. The question I ask you is: How much is too much?
It all depends on your relationship with your social media followers/friends and most important of all: your privacy settings.
We won’t go into the details but we have had candidates who have lost out on a job opportunity after being absolutely amazing during their interviews because our clients have done a quick scour of the internet and found something they just couldn’t agree with on a social media profile.
Social media searches of potential candidates when hiring are extremely commonplace nowadays so what does that mean for you as a candidate?
1. Check your social media privacy settings:
If your privacy settings are not marked as ‘Private’, your profile, timeline, photos etc. are visible to EVERYONE. If a potential employer sees something that they don’t like, or that doesn’t fit in with the company’s values, you have just lost the opportunity to work with them.
- How to change your privacy settings on Facebook
- How to change your privacy settings on Instagram
- How to change your privacy settings on LinkedIn
2. Expect hiring managers to find all of your various social media profiles:
Potential employers will search for your name (often through Google) and your Instagram, Facebook, MySpace (yes, people still use this!), Bebo, LinkedIn, Twitter (the list goes on and on and will probably keep growing through the years) profiles come up so make sure you’re considering all your profiles when looking at your privacy settings.
3. Blog under an alias:
If you do decide to use Twitter (and actually tweet!) or write a blog that’s not work-related, it may be an idea to use a pen name or at least run it by your boss to make sure you won’t step on any toes.
4. Have a look through the photos you’re in on social media:
Now I completely agree that what you do in your own time is separate from work, however, if you are going to be working for (and effectively representing) a well known, respectable company – they don’t want your image to tarnish their reputation. So the photos you have posted in your skin tight, short dress before you go clubbing the night before your interview may make you look fabulous, but think about what image this is could portray to a potential employer. Likewise with any ‘compromising’ photos that you may have posted of yourself as well.
Because it is becoming more and more frequent that our clients are doing these social media checks on their candidates, we may also be required to do this on behalf of some of our clients also, so if you are serious about getting a job it may be a good idea to check your privacy settings and make sure that your activity is only visible to your friends, or people you are connected to.
You don’t want something like this standing in the way of your dream job!
If you have any questions at all about this, or anything else to do with your job search, please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of the members of the Nova team at firstname.lastname@example.org.