By: Katie Gerweck
According to Forbes, 37% of employers look up potential job candidates’ social media websites, and some are definitely finding questionable content (source). CNN found one survey that stated “a whopping 70 percent of U.S. business managers say they decided not to hire a job candidate based upon something found out about her online” (source). Although there are many stories of people who have lost their jobs over social media posts, there are still some students who have yet to learn the importance of keeping their profiles clean. It’s crucial that job hunters, especially those in public relations, understand that the content on their social media profiles can give people an idea of who they are as a person- and there is certain content that will definitely give potential employers the wrong idea. Now is the time to make sure your social media profiles are clean, and to keep it that way.
It’s important to look at all of your social media profiles- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, ect.- and ask yourself what they say about you. Do you present yourself as a professional, or are you coming off as a hardcore partier? Is your content appropriate? What would an employer think if they found your profiles? We did a similar exercise in my social media class, and it’s interesting to think about the conclusions people might draw about you based on your social media profiles.
To give you an idea of what content should be taken down, a Forbe’s article mentioned the following reasons an employer didn’t hire a candidate:
• “evidence of drinking and/or drug use”
• “candidate’s profile displayed poor communication skills”
• “he or she bad mouthed previous employers”
• “made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, or religion”
• “lied about qualifications” (source).
As much as you’d like to keep your party pics online or vent about work, social media isn’t the place to do it. Although you can have fun on social media, it’s important to remember that employers can- and probably will- find you there. Keep your content rated G, and think before you post. No Facebook post or Twitter rant is worth losing your dream job.
Katie Gerweck is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in journalism. She is the editor-in-chief for EMU PRSSA, and also works as a copy editor for the Eastern Echo. She was the copy chief for the Echo during the summer of 2015.