The socially savvy job seeker knows that when you’re looking for employment, potential employers will be looking at your profiles - all of your profiles, not just LinkedIn. And the savviest of them all knows that privacy settings are the digital shields that protect against prying eyes. But if you prefer to keep a public presence online, there are certain types of content you need to refrain from posting in real life to make an employable impression. Are you committing any of these content crimes that can cost you a contract?
1. Posting your party pics
There are certain privileges that come with age, and being of the age to imbibe is one of them. However, something that doesn’t always come with age is wisdom while imbibing. And what we’re most specifically referring to here is posting pics of you and your substances. “The more buttoned up your target work environment is, the more professional your social media presence should be,” advises Sarah Citron, a Technical Recruiter with Procom. “A patio picture or two won't hurt you, but leave the keg stands and pics of your bachelorette in Vegas for your friends list only.” Remember: Posting your pics is like picking your wine, use discretion.
2. Using text talk
It’s tempting to use texting language when we’re trying to communicate and update a status on the fly, but a recent JobVite survey found that 66% of employers look negatively upon poor spelling and grammar on social media. Shortening or abbreviating words to fit Twitter’s 140 character limit is one thing, but littering your pages with errors can affect someone’s perception of you. “It shows that they don’t pay attention to detail,” admits Julian Lopez, a Technical Recruiter with Procom.
3. Expressing extreme religious or political views – All. The. Time.
We live in a world where there’s a lot going on. And freedom of speech was fought for so we can express our views without fear, but too many posts about your personal beliefs can scare away a potential employer. “Critical thinking is lost when people engage in extremism,” says Aryek Godlewski, a Technical Recruiter with Procom. “That can create situations that are very unpleasant and potentially might impact professional relationships all around.”
4. Name dropping
It’s tempting to want to tell the world when you’ve landed a big meeting or contract with a huge brand, but it’s best to tread on the side of discretion when you want to work for those “best places to work” places. Offers are often confidential, and if it seems as though you’re capable of breaking confidentially right off the bat, you can be deemed as untrustworthy. “Employers will worry that your lack of discretion could carry over into the workplace as well,” warns Charles Liikson, a Technical Recruiter with Procom.
5. Being an injustice collector
Does everything bad always happen to you? Does family, friends and everything-in-between drama always seem to be following you around? And no one seems to get it!? (Sigh) Everyone is obviously against you and when it rains it pours, right? Well maybe, but we’re not getting too into the personals of it all, but just refrain from perpetual complaints in your updates.
6. Blasting your boss or bad-mouthing an employer
Did your boss or employer commit an egregious offense against your person and you just need to vent about it? Remember this before you online gripe: Once those words leave your lips or fingertips, you can’t take them back. Ever. Julina Throop, a Technical Recruiter with Procom agrees, “Speaking negatively about your current or former employers over social media is completely unprofessional.” You wouldn’t complain about a previous or current employer in an in-person interview, and you shouldn’t profess your professional problems to the online world either. When you do, it only shows a potential employer that you would have no problem talking negatively about them as well.
7. Posting too much on your employer’s time
Depending on corporate policy and culture, it isn’t just what you post on your social channels that can be of concern-- but when you post as well. If your 9-5 status updates or tweets are flooded with personal content while you’re supposed to be working, it may be a red flag to potential employers that you aren’t demonstrating appropriate time management skills. And they probably won’t waste any more time on someone they think could waste theirs.
8. You don’t have a LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is the number one social networking platforms for professionals, and if you don’t have one, you and your sweet skills may as well not exist. With 93% of recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers all sourcing Candidates via LinkedIn, you need to be on it if you want to be found. “If Candidates are taking the time to network, their LinkedIn profiles need to be updated and contain valuable information,” says Ana Algernon, a Technical Recruiter with Procom.
Remember, if you want your personal life set to incognito as you’re seeking professional employment online, set your privacy settings accordingly. But if you prefer the public approach, these tips should help you hone an employable persona.