A Jobseeker’s New Year’s Resolutions – Part 3
Sam Wilson, January 14, 2014
3. Making your Social Media profiles 'employer friendly'.
Social media is supposed to be fun, of course it is. It provides platforms for you to stay in contact with old friends, reminisce over birthdays, holidays and other social events and make comment on anything and everything. You’ve probably already looked back over the photos from New Year’s Eve and wish you hadn’t accepted the friend request from your mum because there’s a couple that don’t exactly show you at your best. In the end it’s all harmless…isn’t it?
What a lot of people are still to realise, is that as social media continues to grow, prospective employers will more than likely search for your profiles at some point during the recruitment process. At this point there are a number of things that could go wrong for you.
You obviously want to make only the best impression on your potential employer, that’s why you spent all that time on your CV and cover letter. Wouldn’t it be a shame if all that work was ruined by one photo that your friends thought would be funny to take when you’d had a few too many? After carefully choosing your most professional clothes you don’t necessarily want your prospective boss to see you in your ‘going out’ clothes. After carefully choosing your words in your interview you don’t really want them to find your explicit twitter rant.
The solutions to these problems are really quite simple.
Platforms such as Facebook have the option to set different privacy settings which controls who can view certain parts of your profile. If you are worried that there is anything on your profile that would do anything other than give a glowing representation of you then set it up so only your friends can view anything other than you profile picture. Then all you need to is make sure that your profile picture is appropriate.
If you don’t want to have to change your settings then another option is to make yourself harder to find. This is especially true if you’d rather not censor your twitter account, a way of making yourself more difficult to find could be changing your screen name, this could be imply not using your surname or a different name altogether. This allows you to be as open as you want without fear of it coming back to haunt you later on. Increasingly on Facebook you see people using their first and middle name rather than surname, the only fault with this is if you use the same email for your Facebook as on your CV as people can search for profiles linked to email addresses.
For some positions your employer may need to see your social media accounts, this will mainly be for roles that involve using social media professionally. If you are looking for jobs of this type and are worried about inappropriate content mixed with that which you’d like to show off it may well be worth setting up different accounts. This allows you to have a ‘professional account’ as well as a personal account and then either separate the content or repost content.
Social media has become a huge part of modern society, which means that it will play an increasing role in modern recruitment. A few simple steps can help ensure that what should just be a bit of fun doesn’t go on to have a negative impact on your prospects.