Have you ever seen or read something on social media you wish you hadn’t? Yes? Well, so have employers.
In the world we know today – full of technology – social media is at the forefront of most young adults’ lives. We seem to constantly be on our phones, updating our statuses on social media and scrolling through our news feeds to see what our friends and family have to say about the world and to stay updated on whatever may be going on in their lives. The ability to do those things so easily is part of what makes us love social media and also why we use it so much.
However, there are instances in which the ease of use and accessibility of social media can be a bad thing – many people exhibit NSFW behaviors on their social media accounts, whether that be through their own words, photos, and videos, or the sharing of inappropriate posts. What a lot of them don’t consider is that employers can see those behaviors too, and when they do, they take notice.
One of the first things an employer does when you apply to work for their company is search your name online to see what shows up, and some of the most important things that show up are your social media accounts. Employers do this to gain an understanding as to who you are as a person, so if your social media accounts depict you in any kind of negative light, that will be their first impression of you and you can never take that back. Everybody gets one chance for a first impression, and while first impressions can go on to be proven wrong, they are vital to the job search process, especially due to the competitive nature of job searches.
Imagine these scenarios: If you were to approach two recruiters from two separate companies at a job fair and one of them struggled to connect with you while the other one effortlessly made comfortable conversation with you, would you be more likely to follow up with the recruiter you felt less comfortable talking to? Of course not! So if an employer is reviewing two job applicants and one has clean social media accounts while the other has social media laden with things like profanity and references to alcohol use, the employer will favor the applicant with clean social media. In fact, the applicant with profane social media may not ever hear from the employer again.
Therefore, it is important to keep track of what you say and do on social media and to be in control of who can see what you say and do. Privacy settings on your accounts can be tweaked to prevent certain people from seeing your activity if you don’t care to change the way you post or delete old NSFW posts. However, the best advice that can be given regarding social media is that it is ultimately safest to abstain from any NSFW behavior on all of your accounts, regardless of the platform, privacy settings, or who follows you.
So next time you go to post something on social media, ask yourself: “Would I want my boss or my coworkers to see this?” Comment your thoughts and share to spread the word!