Remember that frustrated Tweet you posted years ago? It may have seemed harmless at the time, but have you ever thought about how it might affect the way people think about you online?
Social media platforms took off in the early 2000s and at the time no one knew how big they would get, or how they could affect our everyday lives. It started with people hiding behind a username like ‘sk8b04der29’ or ‘fl0werp0wer’ and being very skeptical about who we could trust. We didn’t know what was real and what could be a scam. But, over the years that barrier started to fall away and more and more people have started to share more personal information online.
Now it has become the norm to share your name and photo on various social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram. Just take a moment to think, how many social media platforms are you on right now? One? Two? Three? Or, even more. Social media has made it so easy for you to connect to your friends, family, and even strangers online.
Not only that, but with the rise of professional social networking sites, like Linkedin, recruiters are now able to easily find you and your posts once they simply know your name or email address. This has had massive implications for job seekers, as the process is no longer a matter of sending off your resume and cover letter and waiting for the offers to roll in. Now, you have to be mindful of what you share on social media, as recruiters will be checking your social profiles before reaching out.
There’s nothing worse than losing the chance at your dream job or college, because of something you posted online five years ago. That’s why we’ve compiled the top five social media red flags that recruiters will notice.
1. Inappropriate content
Take a look at your social media profiles right now. Would you be embarrassed to show your parents or grandparents? Or, is it something that truly showcases your personality and who you are?
If you don’t think that your social media reflects who you are or how you want to be perceived online, then we have good news for you. It can be easily fixed. If it’s just your own post, then you can take the time to delete it off your social media manually, or change the privacy settings so only you can see it.
It’s okay to keep some posts and memories for your own personal collection, but it doesn’t need to be shared with everyone that follows you.
This is the easy part, next you need to filter through all of the potentially inappropriate posts you’re tagged in. In this case, you should ask the person who shared the content to delete the post from their account, or if refused, you can report the content to the social media moderators who will review it themselves and remove it on your behalf.
Always keep in mind that each post you share online lives there forever. It directly contributes to your personal brand and how people perceive you, so make sure that anything you post is something that you wouldn’t mind a recruiter finding about you.
2. Spelling and grammatical errors
Okay, this should be self-explanatory. Making sure that you use correct spelling and grammar on your social profiles is always beneficial if you’re a job seeker or college applicant. Don’t get us wrong, we are partial to the odd Emoji here and there and aren’t saying you should avoid using them at all costs, but you should be mindful of the implications of using texting slang or using the wrong use of ‘you’ or ‘you’re’.
Failing to use the right spelling of a word repeatedly, or making consistent grammatical errors can make potential employers think that you’re careless.
Luckily, there are plenty of free programs out there to help you to ensure that your spelling and grammar is always on point, like Grammarly. This free online tool will highlight and you flag your spelling and grammar mistakes in seconds, so you don’t have to worry about it. That way, you can protect your online reputation and ensure you get your dream job.
3. Posting derogatory comments
Posting derogatory comments about race, gender, religion or otherwise can pose a significant risk for companies and brands. This includes your personal brand. Hiring highly opinionated employees can run the risk of them offending internal and external stakeholders and thus, tarnishing the brand’s reputation or even detrimentally affecting the work environment.
This can also extend to the types of pages or profiles you “like” or “follow”. If you like or comment on derogatory and insensitive content, future employers can also see it, as a result of your digital footprint. Your name and profile becomes attached to that comment and will be remembered by recruiters in the future.
4. Excessive drinking or drug use
Unwinding with a beer or glass of wine at the end of your day can be fine to share on your social profiles, but showcasing your binge drinking at a frat party or club isn’t ideal to share on your social media profile.
Also, the use, or mention of drugs – even if it’s only joked about – is a big no, no. Recruiters, and anyone who sees your profile, will take this at face value and it will impact your personal brand and reputation.
We all love a tipple. But, these kinds of behaviors should probably stay in the real world and off the internet.
5.Absence of a social media presence
Social media use has become the norm for so many people, that not having a social media presence is deemed strange – especially for recruiters. When an employer looks at a resume, they’re only getting a basic overview of who you are professionally and your social media is useful for filling in those gaps and getting a sense of who you really are.
It’s okay if you don’t want to use social media for personal reasons, or simply for the sake of privacy, but you should at least consider creating a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a great place for you to build your professional network and personal brand. It’s also a great place for human resource managers and recruiters to find you when searching for potential new employees.
Right now, take a moment and think back to your very first post on social media. Was it on Facebook? Instagram? Or maybe MySpace? Can you remember everything you’ve posted or commented on since then? If the answer is no, then we’ve got your back. That’s why there are social media scrubbing tools out there, like LifeBrand, which helps you to clean up your image on social media by finding any potentially harmful posts in minutes.
Learn more about how LifeBrand can help you flag any potentially negative posts or comments that recruiters will notice about you, so you can land that dream job today.