Whether you like it or not, recruiters are checking out your social media pages. According to CareerBuilder, 60% of employers use your social media pages to research potential candidates. More alarmingly, more than a quarter of employers have found content on employee’s social media profiles that cause them to reprimand or fire that employee. 😱😱😱
For many, social media is a way to keep in contact with friends and share fun experiences and ideas with people important to you. However, there is a big difference between sharing information to a distinct group of people and sharing with the public. The great thing is that you can control how your information is shared! Just as you might not run around Times Square telling everyone you run into how drunk you got at that party last night, you might want to filter out which information goes to which people in the digital universe. It pays to manage your privacy settings because you never know what might end up as public information.
Many who realize the impact of sharing their personal lives on the internet opt to adjust their privacy settings to block anyone from seeing their content other than their friend group. If you’re uncomfortable with strangers seeing your information, that is a very understandable personal decision. That being said, it doesn’t necessarily pay for you to go completely dark on social media. Around 41% of employers say that they’re less likely to hire a candidate if they can’t find ANY information about them online.
You might be thinking “Well, if I can’t be completely private or completely open, what content matters to employers?”
While every employer is different, the vast majority of recruiters consider these things red flags: inappropriate or provocative pictures/information, disclosing the use of controlled substances, any discriminatory comments targeted at specific populations, talking badly about a past employer, and/or general poor communications skills.
Some things that employers do like to see are: well-rounded interests, background information corroborating with job qualifications, representation of your personality, looking like a good fit with company culture, and a general professional image.
Things to keep in mind: Make sure to update your privacy settings on personal social networks like Facebook, Twitter, AND Instagram to reflect what you’re comfortable with recruiters seeing. Recruiters will typically look at your LinkedIn FIRST and your personal social media SECOND; make sure information on one does not contradict the other. If you comment on someone’s post or image and THEIR privacy settings are more lax, chances are the comment you made is public. If you think you’re good-to-go, try searching your name on a search engine just to make sure only positive information comes up.