In my travels and many conversations with others, I am amazed at how many people still negate the fact that their personal use of social media becomes very public, especially when they are on the job hunt. They don’t call it the World Wide Web for nothing, and just like the saying, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” the adage “What goes on the internet, stays on the internet” is very true. That said, if you are currently seeking employment and use social media, take note:
— Sixty-five percent of employers use social media profiles to help evaluate candidates over all backgrounds to check on how they believe they would fit into the company culture and to look for reasons to not hire the candidate.
— Thirty-four percent of employers who scan social media said they’ve found content that has caused them to not hire a candidate
— Forty-five percent said they’ve not hired a candidate because of evidence of drinking or drug use, sexually explicit photos, poor communication skills, bad-mouthing previous employers or discriminatory remarks that relate to race, gender or religion or lying about qualifications
Now, just know that you have the same capability of going on social media and reviewing the profiles of your interviewers as well. When I worked in corporate America, I encountered many upstanding and “corporate acting” managers on a daily basis who, after a few drinks at company functions, ended up dancing on tabletops or falling over drunk.
But, they already have a job, and you’re looking for one. So when that’s the shoe that you are wearing, please be aware of what you post. The last thing that you want is for “freedom of speech” to make you a prisoner of inadequate career and income opportunities. Protect yourself. Protect your name.
Now, on the flip side, social media can be the jewel that you need if you use it to network with friends and associates who can connect you with hiring managers or others who know of job openings. Because our circles of influence are no longer limited to us, but instead include an immense number of people who live in our local communities or abroad, we can become similar to an octopus and suddenly have multiple arms reaching into opportunities we previously may not have known about.
This is where we cannot afford to be shy about asking others for help in our job searches because it’s not always “who you know,” but most times “who knows you.” From this day forward, begin to look at social media not just as the place where you can post about your “wildest escapades ever” but more so as the place that can possibly change your career for the better.
Social media life is not just limited to Twitter and Facebook but LinkedIn, Periscope, Facebook Live (so you can posts videos showing your presentation expertise) and others that are all available to you and they’re free. Reach up and reach out. Let social media be your true friend and business partner.