The Job Seeker's Social Media Pitfall

By Travis Holt | May 29, 2017


It wasn’t too long ago when we could add a skill or two, obtain a degree, update the resume, post it to an online job board or email it to a recruiter, friend or inside contact in hopes of being called in for a job interview. While searching for the ideal position, these practices are still very much relevant and as such, should never be taken lightly. But, as we all know this is just the beginning of the interview screening process.

Today there seems to be a growing trend by employers that has become very much the norm as a standard candidate review or vetting practice and has many times over proven to be the difference in your resume moving from the inbox to the interview stack or from the inbox to the infamous "File 13". That’s right. Trash. This vetting practice is omnipotent, to say the least, and does not show any signs of slowing down. The thing is, Job Seekers don’t have to say a word or even meet or speak to the Employer. The Job Seeker provides an abundance of readily available free content for all to view right online. This trend, now vetting practice, can best be defined as the consumption and review of Job Seekers' Social Media content by future or current employers in order to be used as a determining factor to hire new candidates or fire existing employees.

The use of Social Media in many cases is a huge part of our daily activity and subsequent interactions with family, friends, associates or public in general. We are constantly updating our statuses, snapping the next pic and updating our timelines to share with all that will listen. The question is:

"What happens when that post or timeline update with hundreds or thousands of Likes and Shares directly conflicts with the behavior your potential employer considers acceptable in order to become an employee of their company?"

For example, you posted some pictures on New Year’s that let your followers know your “tipsy” point in which you happened to be lying in the floor of an establishment after partying just a little too much. Because you had your phone in hand, you wanted to make sure you captured the moment with a couple of selfies which you immediately posted online. After getting a few not so friendly comments, you then proceeded to let those pesky "internet trolls" have a piece of your mind with a few choice words to their response to your selfie posts. Or what about the time you let your former employer know how disappointed you were with the 2% raise you received by posting your feelings about it online for your friends and public see.

These are just a few examples of some hypothetical situations that could be someones reality, which would more than likely, eliminate this person's chances for future employment opportunities. As a rule of thumb, as it relates to our professional careers and aspirations, in more cases than none, it is best to take the conservative approach with Social Media and fly below the radar when it comes to what we convey about ourselves online.

"Frequently, review your social media profiles, posts, images, and video content to ensure potential and current employers are encouraged and not discouraged with what they see." — Travis Holt, Co-Founder & CEO, H-Impact LLC

Our Social Media activity is not "ours" at all. If it is posted and hits the internet, it is no longer ours regardless of how many Terms of Use and Privacy Policies we agree to. A screenshot of a deleted ill-advised post can be as potent to your Job Seeking aspirations as the original post itself. As a rule of thumb, while using Social Media, simply convey the positive, as much as possible, in order to mitigate any chances of missing out on opportunites — job-related or otherwise. As a Job Seeker or Candidate for a new position, remember, you are trying to get in the door to show the employer what you can bring to the table to help to achieve the Company's goals. Do your best to minimize any additional hurdles by monitoring your Social Media environments like your job depends on it. As you can see, and possibly may have already found out, in many cases, it absolutely does.


Social Media
Employment Vetting
Background Check

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