Be careful what you post on social media

THINK twice before you post, jobseekers. Your potential employer might be keeping an eye on your social media feeds, and your latest holiday party selfie or even your controversial tweet that may just cost you your dream job.

After all, the world is becoming increasingly digital, and according to market and consumer data provider Statista, 3.96 billion people use social media today, which accounts for roughly half (51%) of the global population.

More interestingly, global internet users spend 144 minutes on social media sites every day on average.

A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management indicated that 84% of employers recruit via social media while 43% screen candidates through social networks and search engines. Thus, what employers find can either give you an advantage or disqualify you from your dream job.

Meanwhile, human resource and recruitment experts have further revealed that employers are particularly on the lookout for inappropriate photos; discriminatory race, religious and gender remarks; information about drug and alcohol use; and evidence of criminal behaviour.

Job-seekers should also be cognizant of the grammar and profanities that they use in posts, while badmouthing former employers is also a big no-no. What is important is clearly not just a potential employee’s ability to do a good job. What is equally at stake here is the potential employee’s potential impact on the company’s image.

Also, these searches do not stop once an employee is hired. Some employers continue to monitor the social media sites of employees on a regular basis while some have reprimanded, suspended or even sacked workers due to their social media posts.

The best advice any HR expert can give you at this point is to always be prepared to be Googled by a potential employer.

Such an advice lends more weight now in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many people have lost their jobs, businesses now have a bigger pool of candidates to choose from to fill a vacant position and can therefore afford to be more selective in the hiring process.

By and large, people need to use more common sense with social media, because what they post may come back to haunt them, and not in a good way either. – March 4, 2021

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