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Why is Social Media hurting your chances of being hired?

It was Warren Buffett who said: “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” True. Integrity is the key to a trustworthy and loyal employee. If you hire someone with this trait and throw in characteristics of ‘someone who knows what they are doing’ and ‘who has the energy to take action and go all out,’ you have a winning employee on your team. That someone will build your business together with you. He or she will take ownership.

Social Media platforms have not only become a space where we can network and get great opportunities but have also become a source of information. It is not only about what you write, but also what kind of photos you post. Depending on your privacy settings etc. more and more HR managers or recruitment companies screen future talent by doing a Google, Facebook or even Twitter and Instagram search.

Social Media reveals a lot about you as an individual. It serves as a sort of personal portfolio and can give away ‘secrets’ about your personality and interests. These things are used to see if you as an individual will fit in with the culture of the company.

The Internet is our main source of information today. People have become very proficient in searching online and on social media platforms. Depending on what hobbies you have; types of hashtags you use; your weekend activities as well as the language you use in your posts; swear words; sharing things vulgar etc. will all paint a picture of whether or not you are the perfect candidate.

But what do some of the things we post say about us as future employees?

  • Complaining on your social media about your current job or badmouthing your current boss or fellow employees portrays an ‘ungrateful’ and ‘high-maintenance’ future employee.
  • Do you plagiarize on your platforms? Posting a photo or quoting without giving the photographer or author credit is a definite NO NO. This is totally unacceptable in the world of business and shows that you have no integrity and moral standards.
  • Spelling and grammar. Let’s not even get started on that and typing in SMS Morse code. Language use and writing of emails and reports are essential and part of the day to day business activities and especially if the job requires a good speller. Point is simple, you look like a fool and future employers might see poor spelling and grammar as uneducated and unfit.
  • Posting false news and insensitive or offensive comments can not only cost you your current job but also may prevent someone from hiring you.
  • Drunk and naked or half-naked photos should NOT be part of the public domain. Do you have no self-respect? Clearly not, because that is exactly what a future employer will see and think.
  • Washing your dirty laundry in public is so not on. Let alone future employers, but others don’t want a soap opera of you fighting with your wife or husband over Facebook….for that there is Days’ of our Lives. And a big mistake is when one party start posting hateful comments on professional pages of the other party’s company, just to hurt or get back at the other person for leaving them.
  • Have a life outside of social media. You don’t have to post literally everything all the time. This will portray you as having an unbalanced lifestyle. You will look like a self-absorb individual who aspires to be nothing more than an online ‘junky’.

The list is endless and we can write a book on the negative effects that your social media pages can have on you. However, with all negatives come positives. The key is to use social media to your benefit but to simply think before you post.

What are your Social Media Posts pet peeves?

The Mindspa Institute offers various soft skill courses. One course pertaining to above is our Business Etiquette course. It is being offered on both Public and Corporate In-house platforms nationwide.