How Social Media Affects Your Job Search
Published: Jul 18, 2017 By Trent Zbichorski
Thinking of applying for or landing a new job that could be the perfect match for you?
You know, the job that pays more or has flexible hours, allowing you to work from home or pick when to work? There could be one major factor preventing you from landing that interview, and it starts at the tip of your fingers.
Today, people are glued to their smartphones. They allow you to surf the web, take pictures and videos, download apps, communicate with people, and much more. Whether you’re taking a selfie, writing a tweet, or updating your Facebook status, you should think twice before hitting that share button because it could cost you an important job.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind regarding your social media accounts before you go job hunting:
Be Careful What You Post
In case you didn’t know, some hiring managers actually search your name on the internet when you submit your application. This leads them to your social media accounts and everything else linked to your name.
Remember, anything that you post on the internet, stays there forever! Even if you delete something, it can still be found. So next time you take a picture with your friends, post a Facebook status, write a tweet, or post a picture on Instagram, think twice because you may be surprised who can get their hands on it.
A good rule to follow is if you wouldn’t want your mother or grandma to see it, then you probably shouldn’t post it.
Adjust Your Privacy Settings
On many social media accounts, you have the ability to control who can access your photos, posts, videos, and personal information.
Before every status update, Facebook users have the option to select who can see their post, whether it’s the public, their friends, or only themselves.
Twitter users have the option to make their tweets protected instead of public, meaning only their followers are able to see their tweets. Users can also control who follows them, giving them the ability to approve or decline follower requests. If you have a social media account, chances are good you have the ability to control who can see what.
Beware of What You Send to Others
Sometimes, we can’t help but send a funny picture, message, or video to our friends. But for all we know, they could post it on social media or on the internet without telling us.
That’s why we should be careful of what we send to others, even if it’s to our friends or family members. If someone has access to the internet, then they have the power to post whatever they like.
Like my mom always said, “don’t do or send anything that you wouldn’t want to appear on the front page of a newspaper.” Something you find entertaining and funny may be the sole reason why you don’t get a job or hear back from an employer.
Use Social Media Effectively
Many of us know at least one person who doesn’t have a filter and isn’t afraid to post rude/negative comments. But the truth is that social media should be used as a place to communicate to one another in a professional and timely manner.
No one on social media wants to put up with rude, immature people who are looking to bully or get underneath our skin. Anything you post or write to others represents you.
In a way, you are creating a label for yourself. So why not use social media as a tool to promote yourself and to share your accomplishments and achievements? Not only will this make you look good, but it can also show an employer the type of person you are.
Posting depressing or negative things will only make you look like you aren’t hopeful or optimistic about the future.
Instead, try to post things that motivate and inspire you, such as quotes, music, or even food. There’s nothing wrong with posting about how you feel when you dig into that special dessert you have been craving for.
Also, don’t hesitate to post something nice or acknowledge someone’s accomplishments. It can go a long way and will create a positive image for yourself. Besides, who wouldn’t love to work with someone like that?
With these things in mind, you are now set to submit that application. But first, go through your social media content and search your own name to see what comes up. Just remember, think twice before you decide to post something. Ask yourself, “would I want my mother, grandma, and an employer to see this?” Doing this can get you one step closer to landing that stellar job.
Trent Zbichorski is majoring in mass communication with an emphasis in broadcast journalism. He is originally from North Prairie, Wis.