The information we share online says a lot about who we are. Knowing what to share during a job search is just one area that illustrates how important forethought can be when it comes to social media.
With 43% of recruiters saying that the image portrayed by a candidate on social media has led to a job offer, it’s more important than ever to take what you share via social media seriously.
Although professional networks such as LinkedIn are the dominant target for recruiters, when it comes to sourcing candidate, the other networks are still widely used.
Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and even blogging platforms are all taken into consideration by employers when vetting candidates.
Moaning about your commute
Travelling to and from work can be stressful and sometimes it’s difficult to contain our frustrations. Constantly sharing your gripes about those you sit with on the train or how heavy the traffic always is won’t help your commute or chances of progressing your career.
The commute’s an often unavoidable part of working life. Unless you can find a job within walking distance (or one that allows you to work from home), you’ll not be giving a very good impression of yourself.
One of the traits that employers will be looking for in a new employee will be commitment. If you’re eager to share your unhappiness with your circumstances before you even get to the office, then what message is that sending out?
Confidential work-related information
Why would any organisation hire you if they can’t trust you? If you’re sharing sensitive information socially, then you’re not only damaging your personal brand and chances of finding a new job, you’re also probably damaging your chances of keeping your current role!
In 2014, 24% of recruiters rejected a candidate for sharing such information.
Controversial updates or links
Sharing, linking to or even ‘liking’ controversial updates or articles is an effective way to damage your chances of passing a social check by your prospective employer.
We all have our own views, but using common sense and knowing when (and when not) to endorse certain opinions and stories (which is what you’re publicly doing) is key to maintaining your personal brand.
Being asked to explain something during an interview that you’ve previously commented on or shared online is fine, if it’s positive or of real interest; if it’s regarding something more controversial or risque, then you’ll have difficulty keeping the interviewer’s perspective of you positive.
Of the reasons given for social media discoveries leading to a candidate not being offered a job, sharing inappropriate content accounted for 46%.
Complaints about your current employer or boss
Obviously this is a basic thing, but many people still believe it’s OK to discuss and complain about their boss, employer in general, or even their colleagues.
A new employer doesn’t want to hire someone who will be doing their best to damage the brand image or abuse fellow employees online, and 36% have rejected a candidate as a result.
If you have an issue with any element of your current role, then the correct route to deal with it is to keep it offline and discuss it with the right people at work, not your friends on Facebook.
Updates about your drunken nights out (especially during the week!)
It’s no secret that some people enjoy a drink and want to let their hair down from time to time, but sharing inappropriate images of your nights out won’t do you much good when searching for a new job.
Even historical images should be considered as part of your social media cleanse – everything should be considered non-secret once published. Sharing social updates is fine, but filter what you share with your current career efforts in mind.
Posting evidence of drinking contributed to 41% of candidates not being offered a job role.
Loads of updates during working hours
If you’re constantly sharing updates to your social networks during working hours, then you’re obviously not working. Wasting time at work on Facebook isn’t a trait most brands look for in an applicant.
If you find it difficult to resist responding to friends shares or posting the latest news for all to see, try turning off notifications or leaving your phone in your bag. Resisting temptation until lunchtime could be the difference between getting your dream job or being rejected for one ill-timed update.
Your address or any other sensitive personal details
This one doesn’t only count during your job search. Don’t share your sensitive personal data publicly.
It’s all too often that people share their address and then the news that they’ll be out all night or about to go on holiday. You might as well leave the front door open and invite a burglar round to help themselves.
The other side of this is the more information you share about contact details, etc. the more junk mail you’ll start to receive.
Companies pay a lot of money for contact data, but if you’re giving it away free, then there’s always someone who will thank you for the opportunity to send you countless spam emails, texts, phone calls, letters and Whatsapp messages!