Going ‘socially postal’ can make you commit career suicide on Facebook. Yes, the leader of the online social world can be a place where you can cause a whole lot of damage to your career.
Social media is new, exciting and fun! Who doesn’t want to brag a little about little Johnny’s latest test results, or young Mary’s prowess on the sporting field? Sharing these precious moments is priceless. It not only provides an archive for reference in the future, it allows you to expand the reach to your family and friend connections across the globe. When used well, Social media sites connect and share an abundance of information that brings you closer to those in your life.
Then there’s the other side of the coin – what I like to refer to as the ‘not so pretty posts’. From my own experience, using ‘friends’ (without identification of course) in my own Facebook world, not everything posted on Facebook is all sunshine and lollipops.
I’ve been witness to anything from workplace woes, career complaints, family frustrations, child challenges and even bitterness and battles.
If you’re between the ages of 18 – 54 and represent the 78% of the total of 10 million Facebook users in this country, then you’ve likely logged in to the social networking site within the last hour or so and witnessed the posts I’m talking about.
So with that out of the way, what does it all mean for jobseekers?
What you post on Facebook or any social media site is irreversible once it’s live. There is no doubt that you can delete your post, undo a tag or remove something from your wall. However, what you can’t do is prevent the lasting impression it makes on people who see it before you realise you’ve gone ‘socially postal’.
Employers and recruiters will search you in Google, it’s highly likely they will come across your Facebook page and they will almost certainly take a peek. A first impression will be formed and after a little old ‘Facebook stalking’, your fate with that company will be formed. According to facecrooks.com, a survey found that 25% of employers check social networking sites before choosing whom to hire. Half of these employers have chosen to forego candidates due to details found in social media.
So before committing career suicide, here are a few tips to consider:
- Adjust your privacy settings to remove your profile from public view
- Think – Think – Think and then Think again before you post anything
- Don’t overdo the status updates, besides boring your friends, you will give employers the wrong impression about your productivity
- Don’t overuse the acronyms, especially my all time least favourite – FML (I had to Google it the first time I saw it to learn what it meant)
- Don’t use profile pictures that show you half-dressed with a beer in hand at a music festival – this won’t impress your potential employers
- Resist the urge to share compromising photos – no need to explain this one further
If you still can’t resist posting, commenting or tagging something you might live to regret in the future, ask yourself this question – would I be comfortable calling my Grandmother right now and saying this to her over the phone? If the answer’s yes and you’re really comfortable putting it out there – then don’t let me stop you.
As I continually say to our children, ‘Sharing is Caring’. Please help our readers by sharing some of your own experiences in this area.