Ever browsed your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram feeds and wondered, “Wow! Why did they post that? That’s going to come back to bite them later.” There is more truth to that than you know! Many companies and hiring managers these days inspect potential job candidates’ social media pages for possible red flags. Given that social media can be quite personal, a company might not want someone working for them who will represent them poorly while online. We’re here to let you know how what you post online might come back to haunt you during a job search.
Social media is rarely private
You might think that your personal social media pages are private or, at the very least, unlisted. Well, let us be the first to tell you that that is not true! Your social media pages will almost always appear at the top of a Google search, even if you have your profiles set to ‘private’ or ‘protected’ in settings.
As a first precaution, keeping this in mind when you go to post something may be the first step towards securing your online reputation.
Posting questionable images
Even if you don’t think it’s that bad, be careful of the images that you post and the messages that they send. Regardless of whether or not you had ill intentions, whatever you post is at the discretion of the prospective employer to determine whether or not you are worth hiring. It doesn’t matter what the image may be; it could be something as innocent as a motivational quote that rubs the hiring manager the wrong way; or it could be an entirely offensive image that contains foul language or nudity.
Bad-mouthing previous employers
Leaving a job on a bad note can leave you with a sour taste in your mouth and an itch to complain about it. However, we strongly encourage not broadcasting your feelings to social media when you feel the need to vent. There are multiple reasons why a hiring manager probably isn’t going to hire a person who bad-mouths or complains about a previous employer.
- You might end up bad-mouthing them at some point, too.
- They see you as a complainer and they don’t want someone like that.
- They don’t want someone working for them who is that open with complaining about their work.
Interview bloggers tell their readers all the time about how complaining about previous employers is a terrible thing to do. Why should you treat social media any differently?
We understand how divisive political discussions online can be these days. Sometimes companies take these things too far and screen for certain political leanings. If you’re someone who posts about politics often on social media, potential employers might see this as a turn-off. This may even be the case no matter what your political opinions are; some companies simply don’t want employees who might cause trouble at work.
The best thing to do with social media is to be mindful of what you post and post in moderation. You never know who might be looking at it.