Several years ago I was preparing to interview Tawanda (name changed), a promising candidate. We had an opening for a content manager and social media skills were near the top of the list. Unfortunately, during my preparation, a quick Google search of Tawand’a first and last name revealed several drunken tweets and one very crude post on facebook.
You may think that your personal social media accounts are not part of your resume, but that’s no longer true. We now live in a world where one social media slip-up can alter a job seeker’s reputation forever.
So what happened to Tawanda? I promptly called our technical recruiter and told her that we were going in another direction with our search. Unfortunately for Tawanda, it was a red flag I could not ignore.
People associate you with your employer
What you say and do directly affects your employer’s reputation. In today’s hyper-connected era, there is no separation between work and play. A quick Google search will turn up where you work and associate your poor judgment with your employer. It’s unfair and uncomfortable to put your employers in that position.
The internet never forgets
Social media platfoems have been around a long time, and in those 15 years or so, we are all certainly allowed mistakes, embarrassing moments, and/or regrets. The problem is that while our friends may forgive and forget, Facebook does not. No one, not even the most perfect candidate, wants photos or posts of them from their teenage years. Be aware that recruiters and potential employers will look at your profile, and they will go back in time. And with the relatively new Facebook Timeline, it only takes a few swipes of the finger to view what you were doing in 2009.
Social media recruiting is becoming more and more important – for employers, it is a cost effective, convenient way to find talent and to prescreen candidates. And for job seekers, once they understand the potential dangers of Social media(one offensive post can scar your reputation), they can easily build a positive, personal brand that will make them an appealing candidate. An employer is more likely to interview a candidate that has a fun, interesting profile than someone who has maximum privacy filters turned on and doesn’t allow employers to get to know them.