In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever to pay close attention to your social media blunders. What might seem like a funny picture, comment, or like could potentially come back to hurt your reputation—something that is especially true if you are in the market for a new job. In fact, some employers are now utilizing social media sites to evaluate a candidate’s “fit” before an initial interview to weed out certain prospects.
To avoid being overlooked for a job because of your online presence, take the time before you start applying to avoid making the following 3 social media blunders:
Being nonexistent on social media
While there may be times when disconnecting from social media is a good idea, not having any type of online presence, may impact a prospective employer’s initial impression of your candidacy. For example, LinkedIn is one of the world’s largest professional networking sites with 500+ million members. As a result, this will often be the first stop that an employer will make to learn about your professional identity. Depending on your industry of expertise, being nonexistent on other social media sites like Twitter or Instagram, is one of the top social media blunders that can also hurt you as a prospective candidate.
If you are in the market for a new job, creating a profile that gives an employer a glimpse into your professional background is a great first step. In such a competitive job market, your ability to enhance your personal brand through marketing your skills and experience online will only help to improve your odds of landing a job.
Not being consistent
One of the biggest social media blunders you can make is having contradicting information listed across your various accounts as well as on your resume. For example, all of your employment dates, names of employers, and contact information should be consistent before you start applying for jobs. Not only can these social media blunders raise some red flags about your attention to detail, but it may lead hiring managers to question the accuracy of the information you provided. These are two things that can severely impact your ability to secure interviews.
Sharing inappropriate pictures, comments, or content
Social media is a great platform to express your personality and opinions on various topics, but it’s also important to consider how your activity could be misinterpreted without the right context. For starters, be sure to check your privacy settings to ensure only certain information is available online. For example, while you already know to stay away from posting (or being tagged) in things that include illegal drugs, extreme profanity, or excessive alcohol, you should also stay clear of social media blunders that could be misinterpreted by employers that haven’t met you. Along similar lines, do not bad mouth current or former employers on social media. This will almost certainly force your prospective employer to consider you will do the same to them, which will not help your odds of getting the job.