Most people use social media every day. Whether it’s Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, etc., people should be aware of what they are posting on these platforms because it could play an important role in whether or not you get a job or get into a certain college. When you apply for a job, most potential employers are going to want to know more about you even after your interview, so what’s the best place for them to turn to? That’s right, social media sites.
It’s already an unspoken (and sometimes spoken) rule of social media to be careful and considerate of what you post, but if you have something inappropriate, illegal, or simply something your potential employer deems unfit, it could cost you the job. According to Monster.com, “A recent study by the Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 84% of employers recruit via social media, and 43% of employers screen job candidates through social networks and search engines.” This also applies to college\; there is a good chance that someone from the college that you get accepted into is going to check your social media pages to learn more about you, so once again if there is something someone doesn’t like, it could get you into trouble. According to usnews.com “A 2018 Kaplan Test Prep survey found that about 25% of college admissions officers review applicants’ social media profiles.” Additionally, “According to one survey, 11% of respondents said they “denied admission based on social media content” and another 7% rescinded offers for the same reason.”
What can you do to ensure that you don’t get into trouble? Most social media platforms have an option to make your account private so unless you accept a friend request, your posts can’t be seen. However, this may not always work, as the potential employer could think you have something to hide. Instead, you could make a second social media account, have one a private, personal account, and the other a more professional, public account. Second, if you have something you think someone might not like, you can delete it. It’s not gone forever, but that someone likely isn’t going to dig much further to find whatever it is you posted.
Now let’s say you have the job, you can post whatever you want right? No, you can still be fired for what you post. Some things to avoid are: talking bad about the company, sharing private information about the company, and any racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other discriminatory posts.
Generally, if you have a public and professional account, are posting appropriate things, and aren’t causing any trouble, you should be just fine.