Social media is quickly becoming more and more accessible to employers to do their research on you before you even go in for an interview. Technically, employers are not “supposed” to check you out on your various social media sites, but let us be honest, they do!
One of the first things an employer will do when they get your resume is Google you. Depending on how unique your name is (people with unique names are much easier to locate) and how many social media sites you are on, the potential employer can find out a lot or a little about you that can help or hinder your job hunt.
If you have carefully set up your social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc…to reflect your brand (ie. what you want your employers to know about you), then you are golden. Having a well put together social media site with appropriate pictures and links can be a great tool to get an employer interested in you.
HOWEVER…if you have not carefully monitored your content including: pictures, posts, friends, groups and so forth, then you can be blown out of a position before you even have a chance to interview.
Below are the top FIVE mistakes I have seen job seekers make on their social media sites while job hunting:
1) Listing inappropriate groups or hobbies on their profile such as Interests: S&M (yes! that did happen)
2) Posting political content in tweets or articles that could be taken out of context
3) Having an inappropriate profile picture or other accessible pictures that include things such as: too sexy of a photo, partial nudity, a drink in your hand, a substance in your hand, an inappropriate gesture etc…
4) Posts that include anything related to illegal behaviors or substances on ANY of your accessible social media sites
5) Thinking that a profile, profile pictures and/or a profile’s content is private when it is NOT!
Remember, when job hunting, what you put out there is available for the world to see. One measure to prevent this from happening is by putting your settings to PRIVATE on all of your social media sites, but even that does not guarantee that an employer will not see something they don’t like. The best rule of thumb that I can recommend is:
“DO NOT post anything that you would not want your grandmother to see”