Whether it’s life in general or your job search specifically, it’s critically important to make smart social media choices. Laugh all you want about all that insane number of Jell-O shots you downed on your last vacation, but seriously. Think twice, or three times or 73 times, before blasting photos of them into the ether for all to see.
Do hiring managers look at job candidates’ social media? Um … yes! While one recent study shows that 45 percent of them use it to learn more about people before considering them for a position, other research puts this figure at 90 percent or higher.
Especially when job hunting, carefully monitor your social media presence in terms of how you post, what you share, and with whom. Any employer worth working for is savvy enough to know that the wrong digital footprint by a team member can hurt their company. Not to mention the harsh reality that it may hurt you personally, as well.
- If trade secrets or other sensitive business information is posted, even innocently, it can lead to serious security breaches, loss of competitive advantage, harm to a company’s reputation, or damaged client trust. If you were already working for an organization when you did this, you could wind up back on the street again with little hope of anyone else hiring you either.
- When you’re a candidate competing against countless others, you need to ensure that your online presence is pristine. Or at the very least, take the right steps to control who has access to it. If in doubt, err on the side of conservativism. Delete those Jell-O shot shots and let them fade into a distant memory.
The Smarter Way to Go
Periodically updating and cleaning up your social media should be a mandatory task on your to do list. Google yourself, and go one step further by having a trusted friend do the same. See what’s out there. Then, remove any content that shows you in an unfavorable, inappropriate or unprofessional light.
- If you’re included in such content but it’s been posted by others, un-tag yourself or ask them to take it down. If all else fails, detach yourself from any such online connections.
- Consider tightening your privacy settings. Or, at the very least, keep your public content on the up and up. Focus your postings on your accomplishments and skills, as well as wholesome experiences with family and friends, volunteer activities and similar material. This goes for photos, videos, handles and URLs as well as words.
As you build your HR career, the last thing you need is a social faux pas that could crack your credibility or professional reputation. For more tips on maintaining an online presence that will enhance your future, consider partnering with Search Wizards. We can help with this, as well as all your short and long-term plans. Contact us today to learn more.