What Your Social Media Says About You

A picture may be worth a thousand words, as the saying goes, but one erroneously chosen Facebook picture can cost you a job and other opportunities.

Although social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram make it simple to click a button and share photos and thoughts with the rest of the world, it is important to slow down and think about what you post before you decide to publish it worldwide. On job applications, many employers ask for links to potential employees’ Facebook and Twitter pages, especially when the candidate is applying for a social media or communications related position. If you are chosen as a top candidate, the employer will look through your social media pages in order to determine what kind of topics you write and share about and if there are any blatantly controversial or discriminatory postings on these sites that could represent the employer in a negative manner.

According to a nationwide 2013 survey by Harris Interactive, 43% of hiring managers claim they have found content on an applicant’s social media sites that caused the individual not to be hired. Some of the social media concerns that took an applicant out of the running were inappropriate pictures, information about the use of drugs and alcohol, and discriminatory comments.

On the other hand, some employers mentioned that when used correctly, social media made the candidate even more appealing because the candidate represented him or herself in a professional manner and the employer was able to learn about the candidate’s personality and interests.

Dan Schwabel of Mashable.com writes that there are 5 ways to avoid sabotaging your personal brand online. He says it is crucial to google yourself so that you can determine what employers will see when they try to research you. He also mentions the importance of consistently updating a few social media sites, rather than trying to manage many different social media platforms that you rarely use. In addition, Schwabel believes that three of the keys to the successful use of social media are knowing your audience, limiting self-promotion, and being consistent in the message and image you present online.

So, take a look at your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube Channel and other social media sites and ask yourself if these outlets represent you in a manner that you would be proud to share with employers, your mother, and even your grandmother. If they do not, use some of the tips mentioned above and revise your social media so that you can put your strongest self forward and secure your dream job.

– Shari Rosen
Writer / Editor