Did you know that just five minutes spent looking at your Facebook and Twitter profiles can tell a potential employer more about you than any interview ever could?
Well, it’s true.
Most people are pretty good at putting their best foot forward when being interviewed for a new job.
After all, just a little common sense is all that’s required when deciding what you should say to impress a potential boss and leave him/her with a good impression of you.
On the other hand, your Facebook and Twitter activities won’t necessarily paint you in the best possible light if your potential boss happens to see things differently than you do.
That’s why it pays to remember that what you have on your social media profiles is exactly what a potential employer will see if they check you out online before deciding whether to hire you or not.
I’m not saying the things you post might be “wrong” or make you a bad person. Far from it.
But the things you post and how you interact with the things others post can definitely make a potential employer think twice about hiring you if your opinions and attitudes are a lot different from theirs.
Just a quick review of the things you post, share, and even “like” can reveal the way you really see the world.
I don’t mean that in a negative way – I’m just being realistic.
Fair or not, it’s easy to be considered “guilty by association” when people see things on your social media profiles that they don’t like or happen to disagree with.
Of course you are just as entitled to your own opinions, interests, likes and dislikes as everyone else, and you are certainly free to express them on social media and elsewhere.
All I’m saying is unless you are retired and will never have to look for a job again, it might be wise to be careful about the things you post, share, comment on and “like”.
And finally, here’s one more thing to consider…
If you’re planning to look for a new job any time soon you might want to go through your Facebook account (this is the account that most employers are likely to check) and temporarily “hide” anything that you believe might be objectionable to a potential employer.
You can easily “hide” a post from your Facebook Timeline by setting it’s privacy level to “Only Me”. Here’s how to do it:
1 – Scroll down your Timeline page until you find the first post that you believe could possibly be considered “problematic” by a potential employer.
2 – Click (or tap) the little three dots located in the top-right corner of the post box, then select Edit audience or Edit Privacy (depending on the device you’re using) from the drop-down menu.
3 – Click (or tap) Only Me.
4 – Repeat steps 1 – 3 until you identified and “hidden” all of the posts that could potentially cause a problem with your job search.
Also, be sure to look for posts and images that you’ve shared in the past that might have been changed in some way since the time you shared them.
For example, that picture of a cute little puppy you shared a while back might have been replaced by the original poster with a photo that’s not quite so innocent. Even worse, it could now be linking to a page that you (or a potential employer) would never willingly visit in a million years!
Things are a little more complicated if you use Twitter because there’s no way to “hide” individual tweets. Your only real options are to either delete potentially “problematic” tweets or make your entire account “Private”, neither of which are great options in the context of the topic of this post.
Bottom line: The things you say and do on Facebook and Twitter are entirely your business and concern and no one else’s as long as you don’t run afoul of those sites’ Terms of Service.
But that being said, it does pay to be mindful of the things you say and do on your social media Timelines if there is any possibility that those activities could eventually end up harming your career in some way.