How social media can REALLY affect your job
7th Jul 2017
Social media is powerful
Something you think is just a funny picture or video can go viral within minutes. Employers know in this digital age most people have a social profile online which represent their true personalities. According to CareerBuilder, 60% of employers search promising candidates on social media. Social media presents what a candidate is really like. Employers want to ensure a candidate is a good fit and avoid the cost of a bad hire.
What do employers look for on your social media accounts?
According to Forbes, 34% of employers who would review candidate’s social media profiles said they have not hired candidate’s due to content found. Half said that it was due to inappropriate or provocative profile pictures. While 45% said they found evidence of illegal behaviour including consumption of drugs. A small amount found prior posts of poor communication or abusive posts (about prior employers, discrimination or sectarianism).
It’s not just LinkedIn, employers can search for you on Google and other social media platforms. It could be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Although it is common to have usernames which make it more difficult to find on certain platforms such as Pinterest or Twitter. But it’s better to be safe than sorry, for employers or potential employers to find a tweet about something they shouldn’t see.
It’s not always a negative experience when an employer finds your social media profile. They can get a better feel for who you are and understand your personality. Are you a good fit for the team? Because let’s be honest, not all candidate’s present their true personality in an interview you’re trying to be professional. This can give a better picture of their typical communication to a familiar audience. It’s also beneficial to back up qualifications and employment history.
Should befriend my work colleagues or the boss on social media?
Firstly, analyse your current social posts, what do you use social media for? If you’re using it to complain about your job. It’s common sense not to accept. Even if your colleague is one of your friends, sometimes this is a bit of ammunition for them to get ahead when the raise or quarterly meeting is coming up. Also, you may forget you have colleagues on social media. Think before you post work related posts. I can only suggest accepting if you know it won’t harm your future career prospects.
What should I do to keep my social media safe?
If you really want to post that drunk photo or other less professional posts. Ensure your social media profiles are private. This safeguards you from losing out on job opportunities or even run the risk of losing your current job.
Are your public posts representing you in a good light?
It’s important to have clear well-written posts, truthful information which means information about experience and qualifications. You will be caught out.
But, I don’t want to make my profile private!
It’s time to make sure your profile presents yourself in a professional positive light. Turn your profile into a well-presented image of who you are and your good qualities. That means no drunk embarrassing photos, complaining status’ about work or extreme opinions which could promote discrimination or sectarianism. It’s a way to create continuous communication about your achievements, creative or technical abilities. If your job is a digital relevant role, you need to be searchable and visible online.
Educate yourself on the different platform’s privacy settings.
Examples of when things go wrong
This is a range of examples of when people have been fired from their role due to social media posts. This shows that employers and colleagues are still looking at your social platforms even when you have been employed already.
PR professional Offensive Tweet
PR Professional, Justine Sacco, caused Twitter to erupt after tweeting the following message before getting on a plane to Africa.
After the 11-hour flight from London to Cape Town, Justine came off the plane to realise the damages she had caused. She went viral and lost her job from New York company InterActive Corp (IAC). This would lead her to apologise to all affected by the virus and the whole of South Africa in a public statement.
Justine’s tweet had been retweeted over 2,000 times, picked up by local news outlets like BuzzFeed and the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet was trending.
Or another example is Richard HY, a police officer from New York who created a joke video on Vine about stealing cocaine from the evidence room. He was suspended without pay, luckily not losing his job completed but still disciplined. Not very professional for a police officer. Then again it shows that no social media platform is left unturned. When your posts are public, you’ve no idea who will end up viewing the content.
Even bloggers can be caught, a Yelp employee wrote an article on Medium about her low pay. Talia Jane claimed her pay was so low she had to use 80% of her wages on rent. Talia was fired after breaching yelps terms of conduct.
Social Listening: Brands are aware you’re talking about them
Businesses with good Marketing departments should have the tools for Social Listening. This allows companies to find any conversations online where the company is mentioned. It is important to be aware of this before you bad mouth a company. On the other hand, if you’re bad mouthing your employer, it might be time for a new job. Learn how to find a job through social media.