Who cares if I swear on Facebook, it’s only between me and my mates?
We’ll tell you who cares, your employer… or more importantly, any potential future employer!
You’re not doing anything illegal by posting slightly naughty words or the odd risqué picture or quote on your Facebook page, but you should really bare in mind, how other people might see it.
Put it this way, if you’re up against another candidate for a job, who has as much experience as you and equal the amount of qualifications, it’s a fair bet that your potential new employer will pick the one of you, who hasn’t posted any inappropriate content on their social media channels.
That doesn’t seem fair, and it may not be, but it is a fact of life these days. Your potential employer doesn’t know you that well, and all they have to judge you by is your application, the interview process and the ‘you’ who appears on Facebook. If all the boxes are ticked up until they take a look at your social media channels, it could still be the straw that breaks the camels back, in the decision making process.
Nearly three quarters of employers, admit to ‘taking a peak’ at your social media channels before employing a new member of staff.
So, what is our advice to you?
You don’t have to necessarily remove everything you’ve ever posted, but it is well worth looking through your posts and self-policing yourself. Be extra critical, as something you may not deem inappropriate, your new boss, might!
On Facebook, you could even ‘private’ certain posts, which you REALLY want to keep, but only want your friends to see. However, remember, if you have a connection to anyone at that new company online, these images could still be found.
If you have a LinkedIn profile, we highly recommend that you use a head and shoulders image of yourself as your profile picture. Using an image of you on holiday, or even holding a drink, can seem unprofessional; unless your line of work deems it acceptable to be holding a drink (you might be a bartender, for example!).
We highly recommend removing controversial status updates. Anything that could be classified as ‘causing offence’ can ruin your online reputation. What you consider a joke, could be perceived as offensive to the person who is responsible for hiring you.
If at any point, you’ve aired your grievances about a current or former employer, we strongly recommend removing it. For starters, countless people have lost their jobs through things they’ve said online, but also as a future employer, it doesn’t cast you in the best light from the start.
This may all seem very ‘boring’ and ‘safe’, but in the digital world we all inhabit these days, we need to be more aware than ever of how we come across online. In real life, you could be the best candidate for the position, but if the head of HR has looked at your Facebook page before even inviting you for an interview, and found something they don’t like, you may not even get the opportunity to prove to them, how right you are for their company.