One of the 5 ways to reboot your job-search is to review your marketing materials. An important part of this is to look critically at your social media profiles. These profiles form an important part of your pitch to a potential employer. While your accounts might have been set up to stay connected with friends and family, sometimes your posts send inappropriate messages that can affect and undermine your job applications.
So why is the content of your social media profiles such a big deal – surely you’re entitled to a private life, and why does it matter what you post? As an employee, you inadvertently become a representative of the company you work for. Importantly, management want to know how having you as an employee might impact on their company’s reputation.
Photos or selfies showing too much flesh, or of drunken and compromising behaviours might raise questions in some minds about your suitability for employment with their organisation, or in their department. For others it may not be an issue, but are you willing to take the chance of missing out on a great opportunity because of a photo you either post yourself, or are tagged in by a friend. While you do have every right to live your life and spend your after work time however and with whoever you choose, broadcasting it publicly may have unwanted consequences.
Posting more than once or twice a day could also raise questions in some minds about whether you have an unhealthy attachment to social media. If so, could your ability to meet your work commitments be affected? Will you be able to stay on task, or will you be easily distracted? Most employers have a no phones or social media policy during work hours, so could an overactive account be a red flag to them?
At the end of the day, it is your choice what you make visible on your social media profiles. They are an integral part of any job application, because they provide information to an employer, such as your interests, social networks, community involvement and values. They are looking to determine what type of person you are… that’s you as a whole person, not just as a list or collection of qualifications and skills. If you feel that you want to maintain a digital space exclusively for your private life, perhaps you need to look at changing the privacy settings on your account, so that only friends can view your posts….