Let’s face it – social media is big part of our daily lives these days. It seems like whenever you go out someone is either taking a selfie, updating their “story” on Snapchat and Instagram, or broadcasting live. Because, after all, if you do something without sharing it on social media, did you even do it? Believe it or not, there are certain instances when it is actually beneficial to not share everything on social media (shocking, I know).

If you are looking for a job, whether your first or just a new opportunity, what you share on social media can greatly affect on your chances. In the age of digital job seeking, more and more companies are screening potential candidates based on their social media presence (read: First Impressions: Why You No Longer Control Them). In fact, our friends over at CareerBuilder conducted a study that found 70 percent of employers screened job candidates on social media in 2017. The statistics are further broken down to show that 57 percent of employers are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online, and 54 percent have decided not to hire a candidate because of their social presence. Once you get hired, it doesn’t stop there. Half of the employers surveyed check current employees’ social media profiles, and over a third have reprimanded or fired an employee because of what he or she posted. Essentially, social media can make or break your job candidacy.

While the power of social media can help you get a job, it can also work against you. If looking for a job, knowing what NOT to post on social media is almost, if not more, important than knowing what to share. The Huffington Post has six things that “smart job seekers never do” when it comes to their social media presence. Here are the top three, in my opinion (read the full article here):

Post Photos Of Themselves Drinking Or Using Drugs

This goes without saying, but any illegal activity shouldn’t be shared with your Internet followers. For those legally able to enjoy an adult beverage, by all means you should be able to do so. However, is it really necessary to post these photos online? According to Patrick Ambron, CEO and cofounder of BrandYourself, employers are rejecting candidates who have too much “party” content on their profiles.

This is especially true for soon-to-be college grads, or current students looking to secure an internship. It is hard enough to get a job these days, so why wreck your chances for a couple “likes” online?

Post Inappropriate Content – Or Post Nothing At All

As has been mentioned in the past, if you question whether or not you should post something, chances are you probably shouldn’t. While posting certain things may be an inside joke between you and some friends (funny memes, videos, etc.), the Internet is now a hyper-sensitive community where pretty much everything can be misconstrued. It may be hilarious to your little niche, but others may see it and take it the wrong way. For example, pull up your Facebook page and scroll until you find someone who shared a dog video. If you look at all the comments on the post, there is sure to be at least a few claiming animal cruelty. It’s the world we live in these days.

We all know someone in our social circle who is guilty of oversharing on social media. Whether it is pictures of every meal they eat or posting their thoughts about everything going on in the world, you’re pretty much guaranteed to see some of their content whenever you refresh your feed. Figuring out what and when to share is something that will benefit you down the road. On the other end of the spectrum, the aforementioned CareerBuilder survey also found that a lack of social presence is a red flag for employers.

Disparage Their Previous Company

If you’ve been fired recently, whether or not you saw it coming, chances are it is an emotional time period. It may seem like a great idea at the time to leave a scathing review of the company on sites such as Glassdoor and Yelp, and even update your LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter. However, I can assure you that this is not the case. Not only will this likely get circulated around among your network, but since most things on the Internet tend to survive even after you “delete” them, future employers might be able to stumble upon your emotion-filled post when screening you.

Even if your post is self-deprecating and intended to be funny, things often get misconstrued since after all, it is the Internet. Ripping on your previous employer/colleagues can be seen as an issue with your character and hurt your job prospects moving forward.

Wrap Up

We live in a time where first impressions are no longer made upon shaking hands, but rather with a few clicks of a mouse before meeting face-to-face. Given the rise and influence of social media on hiring strategies, it is important to monitor your presence when you’re looking for a job.  When looking for a job there are a few things we all do: update our resume, find our best interviewing outfit, research the company, etc. A new twist in the job search is cleaning up your social media accounts as well, so don’t make these mistakes if you want to land a new job!

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