Don’t Ruin Your Career in 140 Characters

Social media

In March of 2017, McDonald’s Corp tweeted the following: “@realDonaldTrump You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands.”

The post, active for about 15 minutes, was soon taken down, but not before being retweeted over 1,000 times.  Outraged republicans began a brief #boycottMcDonalds movement which could have cost McDonalds millions. McDonalds issued an apology, claiming its account was hacked by an “external source.”

Although McDonalds quickly deleted this tweet, it’s easy to find many articles written about what happened.  Through this example, companies and individuals can easily learn about the power and permanence of social media.

Political tweets, off-color tweets about religion, Facebook posts and comments, LinkedIn posts and more can have potentially devastating consequences in the business world. We’ve heard it before—we must carefully consider what we put out there—yet, we… can’t… resist.  Consider these things so you don’t ruin your career in 140 characters or less.

Through Social Media, You Reveal More Than You Realize

Before you hit post, like, comment, or hashtag, carefully consider the amount of information someone can gather about you just from your use of social media.  With a little digging, people can find out what posts you like, who your friends are, what comments you make, where you go, who is in your family, and more.  If you aren’t up on your privacy settings, everyone can also see everything you are tagged in.  Any post can be screenshotted and emailed to anyone else, and pictures can be downloaded on any phone.  Everything you say in any comment can be interpreted.

Through the lens of an employer, are your posts controversial, divisive, unkind, or inappropriate? Would people be able to discover your political/ religious preferences from your social media profile? Does this help or hurt your career?

Many Hiring Managers Look at More than LinkedIn When Hiring

If you are hoping to make a job change, pay attention to your entire online presence, not just your LinkedIn profile. A Simply Hired survey of over 850 hiring managers across the US revealed that hiring managers are more likely to look at your Instagram or Facebook accounts.  Their reasons: they already know what is on LinkedIn from the resume, and they want to get a feel for the whole person.  They also want to be aware of any red flags.

Generations to come will be digital natives and even hiring practices are becoming more digital. One out of two working-age adults in the United States have registered for websites centering on hiring liked LinkedIn and Career Builder. Employers are learning how to hire in the digital age. 

Culture Fit and Conduct

How a person comes across on social media can give telling information to hiring managers about how he/she may fit into the current company culture.  When choosing between two candidates, it could very well come down to how a candidate comes across on social media.

In addition to culture fit, some hiring managers may not like the conduct seen on social media of an employee representing their company.  For example, a senior level manager could lose the respect of employees if seen in certain lights.

How to Resist Posting on Social Media

Real Simple recently published an interesting article, “Break Free from Your Social Media Addiction.”  In it, they suggest the following:

  • Understand that you’re being played (the platforms are designed lure you into repeated use)
  • Implement rules (check only during certain times of the day)
  • Buy an alarm clock (so you don’t use your phone first thing in the morning)
  • Sign off for the weekend
  • Check with purpose (not just because you are bored)
  • Be a tough editor (why are you posting?) They say this: “Posting a photo has the opposite effect: You stop thinking about your experience and start contemplating other people’s responses to it” (Julia Edelstein, Real Simple).

At Artemis Consultants, our recruiters are trained to help employers identify ways to ensure your new hires align with your company’s values and culture. And we equally care about a candidate’s image- a good profile should help you get hired instead of ruining your career. For more information on how to improve your professional social media profile, contact one of our recruiters.

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