I know someone who doesn’t do social media in any way. I am not talking about someone who is post-social media generation here, they are in a job where you would expect them to have a presence, and they are computer literate. They have just taken the decision not to be there. This is totally fine, and there is absolutely no reason why you should be tweeting and posting. Most of us, however, are on social media and it is part of who we are. In fact, it is so much of a part of modern life that, while estimates vary, it seems that around 60% of employers informally screen on social media.
As far the candidates go, we know from experience that most prospective employees will check the social media of the businesses where they are applying, and often take a quick look at the managers and employees as well. So, for the employer, being seen online is important, and being seen in the right way is vital if they want to attract the right teams.
What that means is that both sides of the recruitment process need to be aware of how they are seen by the outside world through their online presence. We all know from experience that the smallest thing can be a deciding factor in something like who does or doesn’t apply for or get a position.
Even more important is that you remember that social media is easy to access and everything you post, even if it is on your own feed, could get into the public domain. There have been a lot of stories in the news over the last few years about people posting the wrong thing and getting themselves in really hot water with the management. In fact, most employment contracts, regardless of what sort, will now usually contain a clause about what is considered appropriate behaviour on social media and other digital outlets. In the worst-case scenario if you say the wrong thing about your boss or the company you could find yourself fired or even sued.
So, we suggest that once every few months you have a bit of a digital clean up. Try these tips to see how you stack up online:
- Check your own posts and look at them as an outsider. How do you come across to the casual viewer? Lots of moaning in general, complaining about work, or too many posts about what you got up on Saturday night are not a good thing.
- Imagine you are two people. When you go online try thinking of yourself as a sort of cut down version of your best qualities. From now on, before you fire off the tweet or the post, think how it makes the virtual you look to others.
- Have a look where you have been tagged by other people and remove them if they are not flattering. There is no point in you going to all the trouble to clean up your digital footprint if your friends are tagging you in pictures of you dancing on the tables.
- Check your security settings. All the social media sites allow you to tailor who can and can’t see your information. Get to know the levels of security and apply them in whatever way suits you best.
- Google yourself. If you have never done this, you really should. Try doing it with a few keywords like location or your employer added in as well. You may be surprised what comes up.
To be honest, I think my friend who is not on social media is losing out because it offers a lot of opportunities. Just be a little careful of what you post.