Being ‘socially postal’ can lead to professional suicide on Facebook. Yes, the leader of the online social world can be a place where you can do a lot of damage to your career.
Social media is new, exciting, and fun! Who doesn’t want to show off a bit of little Johnny’s latest test results or young Mary’s prowess on the sports field? Sharing these precious moments is priceless. Not only does it provide a file for future reference, but it enables you to extend the reach of your family and friends around the world. When used well, social media sites connect and share a wealth of information that brings you closer to the people in your life.
Then there’s the other side of the coin, which I like to refer to as the ‘not so pretty posts’. From my own experience, using ‘friends’ (no ID, of course) in my own Facebook world, not everything posted on Facebook is all sun and lollipops.
I have witnessed everything from workplace problems, professional complaints, family frustrations, childhood challenges, and even bitterness and battles.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 54 and represent 78% of the total 10 million Facebook users in this country, you have likely logged into the social media site in the last hour and witnessed the posts. I’m talking about.
So with that out of the way, what does this all mean for job seekers?
What you post on Facebook or any social media site is irreversible once it’s live. There is no doubt that you can remove your post, untag, or remove something from your wall. What it can’t do, however, is avoid the lasting impression it leaves on viewers before they realize that it has become ‘socially postal’.
Employers and recruiters will Google you, they will most likely come across your Facebook page, and will almost certainly take a look. A first impression will be formed and after a bit of ‘Facebook stalking’, your destiny with that company will be formed. According to facecrooks.com, a survey found that 25% of employers consult social media sites before choosing who to hire. Half of these employers have chosen to quit candidates due to details found on social media.
So before you commit suicide professionally, here are some tips to consider:
- Adjust your privacy settings to remove your profile from public view
- Think – Think – Think and then Think again before posting something.
- Don’t go overboard with status updates, besides boring your friends, you will give employers the wrong impression about your productivity.
- Don’t abuse acronyms, especially my least favorite of all time: FML (I had to google it the first time I saw it to find out what it meant)
- Don’t use profile photos that show you half dressed with a beer in hand at a music festival; this will not impress your potential employers.
- Resist the temptation to share compromising photos – you don’t need to explain this one further.
If you still can’t resist posting, commenting, or tagging something that you might regret in the future, ask yourself this question: Would I feel comfortable calling my grandmother right now and telling her this over the phone? If the answer is yes and you feel really comfortable explaining it, don’t let it stop you.
As I continually tell our children, ‘Sharing is caring’. Help our readers by sharing some of your own experiences in this area.