How Social Media Can Cost You a Job

Posted by Chris Stewart on March 17, 2017 in Career Advice Work from Home

If you’re like the majority of social media users today, at one point or another, you’ve probably experienced a tinge of regret after pressing the “post’ button. When it comes to social media, there can be serious repercussions to what you post and share.

If you’re a job seeker, you’re probably doing some research on the company you are applying with. Well, you can be sure that employers are doing their own research on you as well. In fact, one study found 36% of companies have actually disqualified job candidates after doing an online search or viewing an applicant’s social media. When it comes to photos, the same study reports that 43% of job applicants have pictures or posts relating to “under the influence” behaviour. As an employer, what kind of first impression would this leave you with? Probably not a great one.

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Some other types of online behaviour that could rule you out as a potential job candidate include:
  • Crude language
  • Complaints about work
  • Party photos
  • Provocative photos
  • Discriminative posts
  • Poor grammar and spelling

One recruiter from a US based Medical Transcription employer weighed in on her views of social media use by job seekers. She stated that many recruiters “troll” Facebook pages that are
connected with Medical Transcription of any kind.  Believe it or not, some comments made on social media can actually disqualify you from a job. Recruiters far and wide are relying on social media more and more, making note of people who are “chronic complainers” and have nothing but axes to grind about companies and schools. One recruiter even said her company in particular would not even consider hiring someone who did that.

Inappropriate social media behaviour doesn’t just affect job seekers; it can also have negative repercussions for students and current employees. Believe it or not, CanScribe students have faced expulsion for posting test answers in Facebook groups. Annually, many people around the world lose jobs because of their social media mistakes. While what you may not consider a certain post or photo to be inappropriate, some employers will. It’s important to step back and take a precautious approach to your social media behaviour.

Here’s how  you can manage your online data before applying for a job:
  • Enhance your Facebook privacy settings. Learn how here.
  • When it comes to photos, delete any that may go against you in an employer’s eyes and ensure your profile picture is appropriate and professional.
  • Go through your Facebook timeline and delete any questionable posts or photos you may have posted in the past.
  • Avoid spreading negativity and keep your grumbles offline.
  • Consider using Facebook’s “restricted” feature to prevent certain friends from seeing certain content.
  • If you’re not already on LinkedIn, create a profile; it’s the first place employers will go to search you. Check out this blog post for tips on how to build a professional profile on LinkedIn.

Taking preventative measures and being cognisant of your online behaviour can be the key to promoting yourself as a respectable potential employee and improve your chances of being considered for a job.

The moral of the story? Watch what you post. It may come back to bite you!

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