It’s becoming more and more common for employers to check out the social media profiles of job applicants to get an insight into the person behind the resume. The problem is that in this age of smart phones and tablets with instant internet access, it’s all too easy to post, plus, tweet or Instagram something that you could come to regret.
Unfortunately we’re all seeing more and more questionable, sometimes frankly downright stupid, content being posted that goes viral, hits the media, and then comes back to bite the poster. But you don’t have to lick tacos or dispense frosty-freeze into your mouth while working in a fast-food restaurant to suffer the inevitable consequences of such actions.
The crazy thing is that this isn’t just a ‘once in a while thing’ that nobody is worried about. A new survey suggests that 25% of young adults fear they’ll get fired or turned down for a job by employers who see their more, shall we say ‘extravagant’ social-media posts.
In a recent survey of 1,000 American adults, the legal-information website FindLaw.com asked questions about their behavior surrounding Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and other popular social platforms. Among younger adults aged 18-34, a staggering 29% said that they’ve posted a photo, comment or other personal information they fear could compromise their current or future job prospects. Another 21% admitted taking down posts or photos they felt employers may frown upon.
FindLaw has some simple pointers for social-media users, and we’re happy to share them with our Carrington College California students:
Take a breath & think before you post
If you have to ask yourself if it’s a good idea to post or say this, the answer will always be NO. Always assume the worst case – that your boss or a prospective employer could someday see that photo or comment. Once you put it out there, there is no taking it back. The information could live on elsewhere.
Check your privacy settings
Most social media provide a variety of controls for who is allowed to view postings and other personal information, and what information is being revealed to others. Check your settings frequently, as they can often inexplicably change! 82% of young users do “pay at least some attention to their privacy settings,” while only 6% leave the default settings as they are.
Limit the personal information you share
Be aware of what personal information you enter when registering with these sites. Only give them the minimum required. Many of the details they ask for are not required to register.
While we’re sure that our Carrington College California students and graduates are smarter than the 29% who feared for their prospects in this survey, let us know if you’ve ever regretted something you posted on social media? Share your thoughts in the comments.