Job Hunting: Your Social Media is Your New Reference, the personal reference for a job is a key part of the hiring process. Many applications now ask for your Social Media “handles” for this very reason. Hint: if you give one handle, they have all of your handles, even your secret ones.
More than once, when I have been involved in hiring someone, I have checked the persons references, only to find out that the reference:
- Doesn’t know the person used them as a reference, and thus doesn’t really have much to say about them.
- Doesn’t know the person used them as a reference, is annoyed and thus gives a bad reference
- The person doesn’t even remember the person
The importance of a solid personal and job reference is the cornerstone of any job application. What is now supplanting the reference as the major impediment for folks who are qualified getting hired, is your Social Media Page(s).
Social Networks ?
If you enjoy Social Networking sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or whatever, remember that whatever you put there, future employers are going to see it as well. Many folks think that if you set the privacy capabilities of these sites to a strong setting, outside folks are not going to see it, but I can assure you that anything you put on a Social Media site will be visible to folks who want to see it. I’ll say it again, Facebook Page is Your New Reference !
What kind of silliness have I heard of causing folks to not get a job?
- Having a Twitter account and “bad mouthing” former employers (or current employers), on the site. If I am going to hire you and I see that, my first thought is, “What are they going to say about our company?”.
- Pictures of you at a party “having a good time”. As a future employer, do I start to wonder whether you are a reliable employee, or a party animal?
- Other pictures : When did posting pictures of yourself in your underwear or less, become normal? An employer sees that and says (out loud), “Indiscrete employees, if they post this, why should I trust them to keep any company secrets”. Remember if you are “tagged” in a Facebook picture, even if it is not yours, you are in trouble.
These are just a couple of the interesting ways you can thwart your job applications.
What do I do ?
How do I find out what others can find out about me?
- Google your name and see what others can see (without even looking very hard).
- Comb through your social media sites and see what is there (and look with a future employers point of view)
If you have some bad stuff out there, get rid of it as best you can. If you are lucky they don’t know about Internet Archives and are lazy.
Remember, Social Media is Your New Reference.