Growing up as millennials, we often forgot or overlook the importance our social media presence plays in our lives beyond just the pictures and status’ we post. When we are young, we tend to associate our social media accounts with the type of image that we are creating for ourselves, for our friends, or others to get an idea of who we are as a person. This “image,” can vary, from someone who loves the outdoors and their pet cat, to someone who goes out and parties every weekend. While many of us think that having these images or status’ do not affect us, and merely view it as an online image, it can affect our professional relationships with future employers.
To those of you who didn’t know this, employers can and will look through your social media accounts to get a further idea of who you are. It sucks, but it’s the truth, and you can’t blame the employer for wanting to see more of what you’re like beyond your interview (where, let’s be honest, your putting your best self forward.), so it’s not the most genuine way for an employer to get an idea of who you truly are. Just a heads up, according to career builder, employers looking at potential employees social media accounts has gone up over 500% in the past decade.
However, when cleaning up your social media account, there’s more than just the typical party pictures you should look out for. Turns out employers are also screening for provocative images, discriminatory comments, speaking poorly of previous employer or coworker, and poor communication skills.
A lot of you are also probably thinking, “but I can just put my account settings on private.” While that seems like a good idea, but it turns out there’s also a downside to your potential employer not being able to find you online. Career builder notes that “more than two in five employers (41 percent) say they are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information about that person online — a 6 percent increase since last year.” In the way that our society is constantly changing and evolving with the latest social media trends, these numbers are just going to increase as time goes on, so its best just to sit down and clean up those pictures and posts before you get overlooked for your future job.
Having a clean social media account can also help you get a job in today’s market as well. Employers are not just looking for you reasons not to hire you, they are also looking for reasons to hire you. Career builder lists:
- Candidate’s background information supported job qualifications – 44 percent.
- Candidate’s site conveyed a professional image – 44 percent.
- Candidate’s personality came across as a good fit with company culture – 43 percent.
- Candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests – 40 percent.
- Candidate had great communication skills – 36 percent.
With some companies looking to see if your personality is a good fit for the company, its worth putting yourself out there more. Don’t be afraid to showcase who you are online with fear of a potential employer not wanting to hire you because of it, because sometimes showing off who you are can help you get that job.