OnlineClasses.org recently put out an infographic based on a compilation of studies done by Pew Research. Seventy percent of recruiters polled said that they had rejected a candidate for something they found on a social media page. Of that group, 53% said they’d rejected someone for inappropriate pictures, 44% said they had rejected someone for proof of drinking or drug use, and 35% said that slandering a coworker or employer had led to the rejection. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites can be really fun places, but they can also be the difference between two people with similar credentials getting hired.
The Golden Rule of Social Networking should be to Never, Ever, EVER post something that you wouldn’t want your current or future employer to see you say. No matter how private you think your facebook site is, it isn’t that private. Friends, friends of friends, and sometimes the general public can see that picture of Grumpy Cat you just posted.
If I’m looking for someone in customer service, I’m not hiring the person that I just saw on Facebook like a post about how they hate people. Sure it may just be your sense of humor, and maybe you just were having a bad day, or you might just really dislike people. If I’m doing the hiring, I don’t want to guess wrong, so I’m going to go with worst case scenario and look for a candidate with this picture on their facebook instead:
Happy cats are cuter anyway!
So under that golden rule follows a lot of other, simpler rules –
- Don’t fake sick to miss work. But if you ever fake being sick to miss work, don’t post about it on Facebook. Again, don’t post things you don’t want your current boss or future employers to see.
- Don’t share extreme political opinions. You may “HATE THE (insert political party here) MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!” The person doing the hiring may be a member of (insert political party here), and even if not they have to consider that other people in the office may belong to (insert political party here).
- Don’t like, share create any post that can be construed as racist/inappropriate. If you feel like you’re treading a line, don’t do it. Being employed is worth more than all the likes on Facebook.
- Don’t create or get involved in the drama on Facebook. Read it and move on. Don’t be part of a soap opera.
- Don’t talk about drug or excessive alcohol use, don’t share pictures that show drug or excessive alcohol use, just don’t. This goes back to the personality test blog we showed you last week or the grumpy cat scenario above. You may not use drugs and maybe you only drank that one time last year, but your future employer doesn’t know the truth and will generalize.
- And lastly, under no circumstance believe that something will delete in 10 seconds. Snapchat pictures are not guaranteed to delete. If you can’t physically destroy an inappropriate picture yourself (including negatives!), don’t let anyone else see it.
So have I killed the fun of Facebook yet? Next time I post about social media, I’ll focus on the things you can use it for to help your career instead!