Sure, Facebook and Twitter might be a lot of fun, but sometimes “fun” comes with a price. Every day, there are people who either are not able to get the job that they want or they put the one that they do have in jeopardy and it’s all due to one reason: their online presence in social media.
These days, human resource departments and headhunters definitely use social media as a way to look into the character of the people who either work for them or desire to. If when they check out your profile, they don’t like what they see, it can definitely make things challenging for you.
So, what should you be conscious of when it comes to your online presence?
What kind of pictures is posted? Facebook won’t even allow you to post nude shots, but they do let some pretty compromising photos slip by. If you are making out with your significant other, blurring pictures of being scantily clad or flashing people, if you’re using offensive hand gestures or your taking the kind of bar or club photos that really should be reserved for private reviewing, that doesn’t send the message of professionalism.
What does your bio say? If your bio has a lot of profanity in it, that’s not going to work in your favor. However, something else that you should consider (especially if you’re looking for a job in some kind of field that has to do with a lot of written communication) is if you have a lot of typos on your page as well. If you are not even making sure to edit a paragraph or two, that could send the message that you’re not as careful with your work as an employer would like.
What’s on your “wall”? We’ve all heard the sayings that if you want to see who a man is, look at his friends, and that birds of a feather flock together. Virtually everyone who has a Facebook page also has a cell phone. Hurling off-color inside jokes, making crass remarks, doing a lot of arguing or gossiping back and forth on your wall, or simply leaving up comments that are either inappropriate or can convey the wrong message are best left offline.
What are you “tweeting”? The tabloids follow what people say on Twitter and people who are looking to hire you do too. It’s a wise man who once said that what is stated on the internet is not written in pencil, but in ink. If you don’t want repeated back to you during an interview what you said on Twitter, you might not need to say it in the first place.
What does Google say about you? It’s not only social media that you need to be aware of. Websites such as Reputation.com will also tell you that if you want to know how the “online world” sees you, you might want to Google yourself on occasion to check it out. Basically, anything that garnered some kind of press, whether major or minor that is linked to your name, it will pull it. Your prospective employer is probably going to look, so you might as well too.