“Even if you delete it, it’s always there.” Parents and professors have repeatedly warned and threatened us since the day MySpace became all the rage. “Be careful,” they say with a wagging finger. Apparently the selfie you posted in 8th grade of you and your friends making silly faces will prevent you from ever getting a job. Your middle school MySpace might be safe from future employers, but your current Facebook and Twitter accounts are probably not.
According to a CareerBuilder survey, 37% of companies use Facebook and other social media sites to pre-screen applicants. This is a percentage that is bound to rise as we, and our desired employers, become more connected in the social media world. As difficult as it may be for some, it is necessary to take a step back from your Facebook profile and Twitter feed and ask yourself “would I hire me if I saw this?”. If not, then there are a few key points and tips to keep in mind.
No inappropriate pictures! You’re an adult now. Posting an entire album on Facebook of a night out at the club surrounded by alcohol will not pave your road to success. We’re all human and blow off some steam on the weekends but do your self a favor and stay away from the camera.
Watch your language! Profanity on Facebook statuses and tweets is just as undesirable as profanity in person. Keep it clean.
Don’t get carried away. Nobody, and especially not your future boss, needs to hear about every single meal you eat and every other little part of your day. Use social media to connect with others, not to narrate your life.
Don’t be guilty by association. Monitor what other people comment on your profile. If someone posts something inappropriate on your profile it is automatically associated with your name. The same goes for Twitter, don’t retweet anything that you wouldn’t say or want associated with your reputation.
Stop being a hater! If every other one of your posts or tweets is about how much you hate someone or something, nobody is going to want to work with you! Be nice and pleasant as much as possible.
No matter how private you think your social media accounts are, always post as if it’s for the public. You never truly know who is capable of checking in on you. There are plenty of examples of people who thought their inappropriate social media activity was safe from their employers, don’t be one of them!