So, your CV puts a smile on a recruiter’s face that they can’t wait to meet with you, polished up your LinkedIn, and you’re ready to start the job hunt. What you might have forgotten is to make sure your social media accounts are in tip top shape. When searching for a new job, you’re at the mercy of hiring managers, recruiters and other “eyes” in charge of making the big decisions. Just like you, they want to make sure they find a great fit both professionally and culturally. Your social media identity offers hiring managers additional insight about your life outside of work that an interview might not uncover. Here are the top 10 mistakes that job seekers make on social media that could affect their favourability.
- Trolling/Insulting People
When researching an applicant, hiring managers will be checking posts as well as responses/comments to peers. If it appears that you’re insulting people on a regular basis, it will be a sign that you cannot properly control your temper in a public setting.
- Immaturity/Bad Behavior
While there is a time and a place for everything, remember what you post to your social channels is public (unless you have stringent privacy settings). Hiring managers are looking for professionals who carry themselves with dignity, so if a job applicant has a large number of pictures under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is a giant red flag.
- Discriminatory Comments Related to Race, Gender, Religion
Most companies have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to discrimination, both on and offline. This sort of behavior can severely damage both your reputation and that of your company. Candidates with discriminatory images, comments, and captions on their social media profiles will most likely be completely removed from the application process.
- Bad Mouthing Previous Employers
Simply put, if you can easily bad mouth previous employers, you can do it to your future employer. It may also indicate a lack of impulse control within a candidate and they might be less inclined to share confidential information with you.
- Using Poor Grammar and Spelling
The odds are you’ll probably need to write an email or two, no matter the position you’re interviewing for. Hiring managers will typically let a mistake here and there slide, but when your social media presence is riddled with spelling and grammatical mistakes, they’ll assume you don’t have the ability or inclination to proofread.
- Posting Constantly
If it appears that you spend most of your work day on social media, shown by consistent posts and comments/reactions to others, it’s safe for a hiring manager to assume that you will carry this habit to their open position as well. Using valuable work hours to keep your social presence ‘active’.
- Having No Social Media Presence
As it poses a problem to be posting constantly, but not having a social media presence could allow prospective employers to assume that you’re either out-of-touch with technology (a red flag if you’re applying for anything marketing or tech related) or it could be a warning sign to hiring managers that you have attempted to cover your tracks due to previous poor behavior, a scandal, or criminal activity.
- Embellishing Qualifications
While finding the over embellished successes on social media might take a little more research for the hiring manager, it’s something they are on the lookout for. Be wary of exaggerating your achievements on your social media profiles — like attending a certain university that you didn’t complete or receiving a certification that you really did not — that you do not list on your CV. It is a sign that you have no problem overstating and even fabricating qualifications, which in turn will make any hiring manager question the validity of the contents on your CV.
- Posts that Show Criminal Behavior
While this is not as common, some candidates will post pictures, videos, or claims of criminal behavior or threats of criminal behavior. These turn out to be useful in a hiring manager’s own due diligence, as the candidate may not have been caught for these acts, thus this behavior would not have been flagged in a background check.
Unprofessional behavior can take many forms on social platforms including a questionable or obscene screen name or constant use of profanity in captions and comments. If you can easily do this in your personal life in public, hiring managers could assume that you will slip up and do the same while representing your organization.
While these tips may seem like common sense to some, it’s important to keep them in the back of your mind when using social media. And remember, if you have to question it, you probably shouldn’t post it.