Recruiters and employers now use social media as a ‘pre-screen’ method to gain a better understanding of your personality, interests, views and opinions outside of work. Through doing so, they can start to form an idea of who you are as a person, without ever having to meet you. With 70% of employers admitting to ‘snooping’ on your social media, it’s important to take down any posts that could be used against you when searching for your next job opportunity.
What do you define as an unprofessional picture? Is it when you’re standing with a drink in your hand, a night out with friends or when you use your cute pet cat to pose as your profile picture? Either way, employers will often deem these types of images as unprofessional.
Instead, you want the public images you choose to share to be a reflection of your professional personal brand. So, privatise or take down the images you feel will not help you in your job search. If you’re unsure, make all your social media profiles completely private and even temporarily change your name (i.e remove your last name) to ensure you aren’t found by potential employers.
2. Controversial statuses
Take down the controversial Facebook statuses, Tweets, Instagram captions and anything else that could be classed as offensive. Causing controversy online can be extremely damaging for your online reputation. What you might think is a joke, could be perceived as insulting or rude to someone else.
When you choose to share your opinion online there will always be someone who disagrees with what you have to say. So when you’re looking for a job, what you don’t want is this person to be the hiring manager.
3. Negative opinions on previous or current employers
Did you hate your last job? Did you really not get on with your last manager? If so, social media is not the place to express this. There have been countless cases of people losing their job based on social media posts (read the best examples here!). So be smart and think before you post your next rant.
It’s also important to look back at past statuses, tweets or posts to determine anything that could be classed as bad-mouthing and delete these as quickly as possible.
Yes, memes are entertaining but not all employers will view this as professional. Whilst there is a possibility of some employers appreciating a meme, the possibility of causing offence to others is too great of a risk to take. Be cautious and remove jokes, because what you think is funny, others might not agree.
If you do plan on sharing an image or video you have found, make sure your profile is completely private. Or refrain from sharing altogether until you secure your next role.
5. Heated discussions
What your future employer does not want to see is arguments on social media. Whether you call it a heated discussion, debate or even a difference in opinion, it can be difficult to interpret your tone of voice through social media posts and comments.
However, something the hiring manager will be able to detect is your negativity. A trait they’ll most likely want to avoid when making their next hire. This can be perceived as argumentative and make you a difficult co-worker to work alongside.