Social media is a powerful tool for networking, job hunting, and general communication in daily life. Some social media platforms can help recruiters find you, both before you apply and especially after. Social media's power is such that searching an individual's name on google can yield dozens of posts, images, and accounts attached to their name online.
This ease of access to all of your social media means that potential recruiters, managers and future coworkers could be looking at your profile long before they even meet you. Before job hunting, you should consider cleaning up your social media page while working on your CV and cover letter. Alternatively, keeping your personal pages private as to avoid the unwanted views of your page is another way to avoid this problem.
You can never be too careful when cleaning up your social media, as you don't want to miss a point that could work against you in the eyes of the hiring manager. Social media isn't as personal and private as people believe, and oftentimes they overlap. This is especially true when you start adding coworkers and managers on Facebook and Instagram. The importance of being aware of your social media page shouldn't end when you're job hunting, though. Even after getting the job, you should be careful with what kind of activities you are actively putting out into the world.
Think about what you would and wouldn't tell your manager before you post it on social media. For example, you wouldn't talk about how much you hate your job and how desperate you are for a new job in front of your manager. Similarly, you wouldn't brag about a weekend of drug and alcohol use at work, or show your manager a provocative image of yourself. Most friends and family may follow your Facebook or Instagram page, but it isn't private, and you can easily find yourself in hot water by disregarding the image of yourself you're putting forward.
Seeing consequences at work because of online activity is far from unheard of as well. Though you may believe that your social media account is entirely irrelevant to your performance and relationships at work, employers in the UK are entirely within their legal right to dismiss you for offensive or inappropriate behaviour online. If your employer deems your posts to be detrimental to the employer's reputation, whether it be through offensive behaviours online or otherwise, they may want to let you go to avoid the tarnishing of their brand, company or management reputation.
The best way to ensure that your social media isn't going to affect your job hunting or current position; the best place to start is with privacy settings. Most social media sites have a way for you to decide who can see what posts, with differentials between "friends" and "best friends," for example. If you're unsure about the potentially offensive nature of an image or post, the best bet is to private or delete it altogether.
Finally, monitor what comes up with a quick google search of your name, and consider making your private accounts under nicknames, so they don't come up in simple searches. Taking the time to follow these tips carefully is the best way to avoid mistakes or potential repercussions to your social media posts.
If you’re hoping to get an interview stage of the hiring process FAC3 can help you get there. Whether the listing was online or you dropped a CV in person, FAC3’s team can help you ensure that you’re prepared for your job hunting.