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Before You Apply for That Job: Detox Your Social Media

When you’re planning that next career move, there may be a lot of things on your mind. Does your CV need an update? Are you making the right choice? How can you improve your interview technique?

woman using a mobile phone to clean her social media accounts ready for new job

Are you going to get the job?

One question many career women often forget to ask concerns social media. Are my posts likely to stop me getting this job?

What you write on Twitter, Facebook or the images you post on Instagram, can often come back to haunt you if you’re not careful.

Injudicious comments about a past partner, political rants, photos of you in a drunken state, they can all create the wrong kind of image. And your potential new boss may be taking note.

 

Employers Check Social Before They Employ

You might think it’s unfair but a lot of employers and recruiters will take a critical look at your social media posts before they consider taking you on. According to Monster.com nearly half of employers nowadays check sites like Facebook and Twitter, and not just each candidates most recent posts either.

It’s not all about posting something that’s likely to raise eyebrows, either. If you work in digital marketing, for example, and you’ve not posted anything for a few months, it’s likely to be a warning sign for any particular employer that you’re not really committed.


 

What your future boss is looking for when they check social media, however, is fairly simple.

  • First they want to be sure you’ll be a good fit for their corporate culture.
  • Second, they want social proof of your qualifications – for example, if you say you’re great at communication your Twitter feed should reflect that ability.
  • Third, they want a little insight into your soul. How creative are you? How responsible? Are you a good person?

 

How to Detox Your Social Media Posts

The peril of old social media posts was highlighted in recent times by MP Mhari Black who was the youngest elected politician in 350 years. After her election, news came to light of old posts written in her teens that contained various profanities. While it hasn’t particularly damaged her career, her experience shows how old posts can suddenly resurface and take on a whole new meaning and context for those reading them.

It pays, therefore, to have a trawl through your posts going back over the years. You should do this as a matter of housekeeping whether you are looking for a new job or happy where you are. Indeed, there’s some indication that current employers are just as fond of checking social media timelines for their existing employees – especially if there’s a problem with a member of staff.

 

Here are the main things to look out for:

  • Posts that criticise your current or a past boss or a work colleague.
  • Posts that contain tasteless or potentially offensive comments.
  • Posts mocking customers or people you meet during your daily work routine.
  • Posts about drunken or debauched nights out.

The good news is that you can delete ‘offensive’ posts and it’s pretty easy to do so. As a rule of thumb, if you’re not sure whether an image or line of text is going to be detrimental or not, delete it just to be on the safe side.

 

If you don’t want your social media to scupper your career prospects perhaps today is the day you should take a closer look at all those posts.

 

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