Social media mistakes equals no job!
Barry Whelan of Excel Recruitment advises jobseekers to beware of how they use social media because we all leave a digital footprint in our wake
15 October 2014 | 0
We Irish love Facebook. Our early adaptor gene has the whole population of the island extensively on social media. However, you need to consider your digital footprint when you’re seeking employment or moving jobs. You need to understand that we and plenty of our clients google potential employees and candidates. You need to be aware of this and what a Google search will bring up for the hiring manager of your new dream job.
You may not think anyone apart from your pals can see your tweets or Facebook photos, but everyone can see your tweets and try putting “photos of X person” into your search bar; you might be surprised to see what pops up! Anyone can see images you posted on Facebook in a graph search.
A social media mistake can ruin your shot at a job without you ever knowing it.
To help you avoid all the pitfalls we have come across in the last few years, here is a list of our top 10:
- Drinking in a photo: Whilst posing with a glass of wine doesn’t raise much of a concern, when your pals whip out their smartphones and start taking photos on a big night out, duck! You know they are going to end up on social media. Better still ask your friend not to put you on their Facebook page.
- Complaining about your job: We have experience of candidates’ positions being terminated after writing disparaging remarks about their job on their Facebook posts.
- Complaining about your company: Another common mistake when someone has a bad day is to complain about their employer online. Most employers take a negative view of this.
- Socialising whilst at work: Posting whilst at work is not a good idea unless it is part of your job. If potential employers see you tweeting or posting whilst at work, they may think twice about hiring you.
- Making fun of your boss: Another no-no. Whether or not you use your boss’ name isn’t relevant. They know where you work and therefore who you’re referring to, so do not give out about them online (ideally not even by email or text).
- Making fun of customers or companies: We had a job offer withdrawn when a candidate took the mick out of a company he later received a job offer from. Even though his remarks were very much in jest, the client still felt the attitude was immature and the remark insulting.
- Blowing your own cover: You call in sick because you have something better to do and then brag about it. How many times have candidates been caught out doing this and how many times have those online posts gone viral. ‘Whoo hoo duvet day’ is not a great post.
- Industrial espionage: Don’t reveal company secrets or company spoilers on your Twitter account. The marketing department most probably has a campaign to launch a new store or promote a new product. You don’t need to be in spoiler alert mode when it comes to your company.
- Sex: If you’re dating online or have private blogs, or flirting with someone online, you need to really use your best judgement in what you are writing and sharing. Whilst it is nobody’s business, you need to explore what information can be found.
- Profile photos: We discussed this as a business whilst undergoing social media search training. People make assumptions on appearance. We judge people on what we see. Don’t forget that.