Could Social Media cost you your job?

 

You may have seen in the news recently, that an acclaimed director was fired over inappropriate tweets that were published almost a decade ago – which begs the question, could your social media activity cost you your job?

The short answer is yes, a lot of people forget the far-reaching capabilities of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, especially as most of their default settings set your content to public. The easiest thing to do, is to make sure your profiles are set to private, besides, for most of us, it’s a window into our personal lives – more on how to do that later.

 

Checking your contract:

Of course, you have the right to express your personal views on social media, thanks in part to freedom of speech, but many employers now add clauses to contracts about social media activity. On top of this, many contracts will have a clause with regards to bringing the company into disrepute and your social media activity can easily fall under this and in serious cases can warrant instant dismissal.

With that in mind, do carefully review your contract and, if your employer has one, employee/IT handbook.

 

How to lock down your social media:

Interestingly, a survey conducted in 2018 by Harris Poll stated that up to 70% of recruiters admitted to vetting candidates on social media as part of the recruitment process and more than half found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate.

But they’re not just being nosey, “social recruiting” is a growing trend that will continue to be more important as time goes on, 57% of employers are less likely to interview if they can’t find anything about you online, with most employers looking for information to back-up qualifications (61%).

As previously stated, most social media platforms set your profiles and content to public by default, maybe you don’t want to completely lock down your social media profiles – and that’s absolutely fine – but if you’re wanting a degree of privacy, or want to limit what’s in the public eye during job applications, you’ll be glad to know that it’s easier than you think. Having a look through the respective platforms’ privacy settings and adjusting accordingly is always a wise move; Facebook for example has a handy “View as” option which will show you what your profile looks like to the public, accessible from your profile page. Facebook’s privacy settings are very thorough, allowing you to tweak the privacy settings of every aspect of your profile. In comparison, Twitter and Instagram are quite simple; public or private.

If you want to share your content with the world, by all means go public (the default setting), but if you’re not too keen on the wider world seeing your content, then maybe opt to switching to a private profile.

 

Social butterfly or social hermit?

In conclusion? Social media is more important now than ever for finding a new job, so make sure your LinkedIn is up-to-date and try and get some new recommendations if you can, as for your personal social media activity, mind what you post and always check your privacy settings regardless of your current career status. There’s no need to go into complete anonymity, it’s all about making sure that your public content is controlled and responsible, just as much as you would review your CV before sending to recruiters.

If you think your LinkedIn profile needs a once over or you need any help, why not get in touch with one of our consultants, who will be happy to help as part of our ADvisory Scheme.