Finding a job has always been a challenge. Just think about it. You are one out of hundreds sometimes thousands of potential candidates applying for the same job. Every little detail of your resume counts, from the spelling to the actual details of your job history. There is no room for any mistakes, if you want to get one step closer to the interview. Sounds familiar? The process of landing a job has always been difficult enough, but fast-forward to 2014, the difficulty level has risen. With the growth of new and emerging media in every aspect of our life, many employers are turning to social media as an additional measure for screening candidates. An article in the Huffington Post mentions that 37% of hiring managers research potential candidates on social media sites as part of the screening process. Additionally, the following infographic represents a study that was performed by Reppler, which included 300 employers:
Of course, this brings up the question of whether social media is being mishandled and used inappropriately or if employers have every right to utilize alternative methods of screening candidates. There have even been cases where employers required candidates to provide their social media passwords as a part of the screening process, which has raised a lot of ethical concerns regarding privacy issues. So the question is, how far is too far? Some say that on one hand, it is the responsibility of the individual to make sure that they are presenting themselves in an appealing manner in digital space, since it is available for the world to see. Privacy settings….well there is no such thing on the world wide web, for whatever content is placed on there, remains for good. On the other hand, there are some who believe a person should have the freedom to post as they desire on social media, since it pertains to their personal life which is in no way correlated to their professional career. Whatever the case, whether it is right or wrong, it is occurring more than people think, and it is only smart to take any precautionary measures to prevent losing out on a great opportunity. So in the meantime, here are some great steps to follow to avoid being pushed to the reject pile because of your social media posts:
- Share posts only that you will want your parents to see…if it is okay for them to see it, then chances are, it is okay for your employers to see it too
- Monitor yourself on Google. Truth be told, there could be anything out there that could possibly jeopardize your chances for a job. Don’t you want to know about it?
- Avoid writing negative posts about former employers. No one wants to hire a Debbie-downer or a complainer. Positivity only.
- Retract your steps and remove any negative posts on your social media. Yes this includes the drunken or scantily clothed photo that you took over the weekend
- Treat yourself as a brand. If you were a company and wanted people to invest in you, how would you market yourself…Hmmm, Something to think about.
Social media can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. The power is in your hands. Be Smart.