Recently we outlined how 92% of interviewers use social media to learn more about their applicants. Think about what people may be able to find out about you through your social media channels, does it paint a different picture than what employers see in your CV and Cover Letter?
It can be difficult to convince an employer that you are a professional worker seeking career advancements, when they may be able to see you partying online, for example. As you read this, you may be thinking about what is on your own pages, asking questions such as: How can I protect my image? Do I need to delete all my posts? No. The first step is to review all of your content. Google yourself, check what you are tagged in. If you can’t find anything you wouldn’t be proud of about yourself, then the employer won’t either.
But your image may not be just affected by what you post on social media or what can be found about you, but also who you follow and interact with. For example; Following, liking, sharing or commenting on posts / pages that may be seen as controversial, can have the effect of the viewer associating you with the beliefs or values that are built into this content, be it knowingly or through unconscious bias. Judgement is built very fast on the internet, be careful as to what you align or associate yourself with when online.
But what if something is on the fence? You want to keep a picture of a fun memory that could leave bad impressions? Simple. Make your accounts private!
This can be done in every social media accounts’ settings. You are given the ability to limit what can be seen of you to just your friends / followers, and can even hide your profile from those you are not friends with entirely, or hide / archive certain posts! This range of choice makes it easy to maintain a separation between your work and home life, protecting your professional social image . If you need assistance with this, check out these links:
Despite having the ability to go fully private online, this may not be the right option for you either. In fact, social media can be a great opportunity to improve your prospects. Many employers expect you to have a strong LinkedIn presence. Other channels can be used in this professional format too, while also adding in elements of your personality can go a long way.
The key message here is to be aware of and confident in how you present yourself to the online world, as it might just cost you a job offer!
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