Have you ever gotten so mad that you just wanted to spout off on Twitter? Hasn’t the urge to write a nasty, expletive-laden blog post or Facebook status ever taken over your judgment? Well if you are in the market for a job you better think twice. According to a 2011 survey by Reppler, up to 90 percent of employers check out their applicants’ social media presence during the hiring process.
Like it or not, the content you post on social media sites are not really all that private. Anybody, including employers, can access these posts. In fact, Twitter posts are especially vulnerable to during the hiring process since Twitter profiles are open for everyone to see. Every tweet you fire off is logged and available for employers to view later. That one inadvisable tweet you wrote about your boss two years ago is still lurking out in cyberspace just waiting to haunt you.
Another touchy subject is your Facebook. Especially with the new timeline feature, your wall posts, statuses, comments, and photos are all logged and readily viewable at any time. In fact, one of the worst problems that people run into is an embarrassing photo taken years ago on that evening nobody talks about cropping up during the interview period. Employers are looking for these things, not to turn down good candidates, but instead to protect the company image.
Whether it is fair or not, bosses are no longer merely using a resume, cover letter, and interview to judge who you are. Employers view your conversations on social media, positive and negative, as an extension of your personality. As an employee, you are an extension of your company on social media, even when you are off the clock. Drunken pictures and expletive laden Facebook statuses are not the way to win over a boss.
Social media is not completely evil for job seekers though. The same Reppler study found that 68 percent of employers did hire a candidate due to something they noticed in the candidate’s social media portfolio. It is all about keeping yourself honest and watching what you post. A little caution can go a long way in trying to earn a job in today’s social media driven world.