5 Things on Your Social Media That Might be Damaging Your Employability

By Sam Butterworth

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Over the past couple of decades, social media has exploded in popularity. With smartphones so readily available, it’s never been easier to be online and stay connected to your friends, family and content of your interest. However, due to the growing culture of social media, it was surveyed, in 2017, that as much as 70% of employers vet potential candidates online before offering them an interview - a 10% increase from 2016. This is not surprising as a US survey indicated that 80% of Americans were using social media in 2017. This means that your online presence is more important than ever and could be the difference in landing your dream job. Here are five things to avoid doing on your social media accounts that might deter employers from contacting you.

  1. Poor Spelling - this is easily avoidable and a good habit to get into in general, employers will not be impressed and are in fact more likely to laugh if your Facebook status is riddled with spelling errors or contain unironic colloquialisms such as ‘mad ting’ or ‘sik bruv’. Keep it simple and well-spelt to give off intelligent signals.
  2. Deleting Social Media - many people, in fear of their social media accounts being viewed and judged by employers opt to delete them during a job search. However, due to the way employment is going it is important to show that you understand and can use social media effectively, especially when you consider some futuristic jobs on the horizon. Instead of deleting your social media account, have a sweep through deleting any questionable content and like companies that you’d like to work for and join conversations regarding new opportunities advertised online - future employers will notice this!
  3. Offensive Content - what you have to bear in mind for this point is that what is offensive is subjective. The post you might share from Ladbible about someone getting so drunk they run into a wall or throw up over themselves might get a few giggles but it wouldn’t be appropriate in a working environment. The content you decide to share says something about you as a potential employee so be careful.
  4. Swearing - while we don’t like in Victorian times and swearing is something you’re likely to come across every day, it is always better to keep language like this off social media. Choosing to post profanity as opposed to leaving it out or using a different word shows a lack of vocabulary and care in regards to offending certain people.

Negative Opinions - everyone is entitled to have negative opinions and you’re free to post them, but bare in mind that rants regarding previous employers or employees are not going to be taken with a pinch of salt by your future bosses. If you do feel the need to post a negative status or Tweet, just bear in mind the previous points and say it intelligibly and research the topic to show that you’re informed. Opinionated people aren’t necessarily looked down on by employers as they are often free thinkers and good problem solvers, but a quality that must go with that is a cool-head and ability to discuss and take counter arguments without responding aggressively, which might be put to the test as negative opinions are more likely to attract argumentative comments.

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