Careful What You Tweet
What’s the first thing you do when you want to find out about something? You Google it. The same is true in job applications. If you’re looking for more information about an applicant, a quick search can reveal far more than any cover letter or CV.
A recent survey by CareerBuilder.com tells us that around 2 in 5 companies use social networking sites to research job applicants, and that number is increasing year on year.
So if you’re looking for a new job, you might want to consider checking your digital footprint and seeing what sort of a first impression to make to potential employers. What sort of thing should you be looking out for?
We’ve all been there. A few too many drinks and a snappy happy friend, and suddenly you’ve got more memories than you’d want all over Facebook. Whereas the embarrassment and the sore head may pass, that photo could come back to bite you. Make your profile private, and detag the particularly incriminating ones just to be sure.
Drinking or using drugs
Remember that keg stand you did at Dave’s house in first year? That was awesome, wasn’t it? Well, I suppose there is a certain amount of skill in drinking beer whilst upside down, however the chances are a potential employer isn’t going to share in your enthusiasm, and that photo you posted might just scupper your chance of landing that dream job.
Bad mouthing previous/current employers
Many people looking for a new job are doing so because of some form of dissatisfaction with their current one. However, if you’re thinking of going to Twitter to vent your frustration, think again. Not only will you come across as completely unprofessional, ills with current or former employers will suggest that you struggle to work well in a team.
Bad communication skills
Wd u wnt 2 hre sm1 who tht lke ths? (Sorry.) No, you wouldn’t. Good communication skills are vital in just about any job role. Think about it: when was the last time you saw a job that didn’t mention the ability to communicate with other team members? The odd typo can be forgiven – you’re only human, of course – but stop talking in text slang if you want to be taken seriously.
Lying about qualifications
Finding out about someone has never been easier. If you’ve lied on your application, there’s a good chance that somewhere on the internet, there’s proof of that lie being untrue. Sometimes it may be tempting, and if we’re being honest you may well get away with it. But other times, you’ll get caught, and no one wants to hire a liar.
Many of course will complain about the intrusion into one’s online social life. However the simple fact is, if you’re going to say something publicly – and that’s exactly what Tweeting is, public – you should ask yourself one simple question: could this come back to bite me?
At the end of the day, you can’t control what other people do. If a potential employer decides to Google your name and see what comes up, that’s their choice. You can, however, have some control over what they find.