The role of social media in job hunting

Do you have a picture of you on Facebook you wouldn’t show your boss? Did you ever send out an angry tweet you regretted sending to a colleague? Or what about a message directed at a friend or collegue you wished you had never posted?

In the days of social media and digital communications, making these mistakes are simply unacceptable.

Here is the main reason why:

social media can help and hinder your chances or getting as job

That is right, count ’em, 33 per cent of employees decided not to hire someone based on something they may have seen on a social media profile.

Now, I can hear the skeptics screaming already: but that is an invasion of my privacy! Unfortunately, if you check the small print, those pictures of you partying you uploaded, aren’t fully yours anymore.

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

Clause 2 number 1 iterated in the Facebook Terms of use.

So, you ask, what should you do?

I have seen people create separate accounts, one for professional use, given to business contacts and potential employers, and one personal account used among friends and family. The problem with this, unless your name is different in the personal account, employers will still find you.

The simple answer then: don’t post it if you wouldn’t show it to your grandmother.

As communicators, when we begin our careers, we sign over our lives to the digital world. When you work for organizations, whether we are the official spokesperson or not, we need to behave online as much as we would at a work event.

This issue has been an ongoing debate since the beginning of social media. I want to hear your opinion, even if it is to disagree with me. What is your opinion when it comes to appropriate/inappropriate content on your social media profiles?

2 Replies to “The role of social media in job hunting”

  1. I agree that people should be mindful of what they are posting. As unfortunate as it may seem it is a reality that we have to deal with now. At the end of the day, if people have access to your various profiles, especially future employers; you should definitely be mindful of what you are posting.

  2. As a job seeker, this is really relevant to me. I am always cognizant of the impact of my posts to twitter, facebook and linkedin and I edit appropriately for this very reason. Thanks for reinforcing this Kristine, great infographic.

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