In this age of trying to be more visible to recruiters and hiring managers, more people are wisely choosing to establish profiles on social media. These profiles allow you to be “seen” by human eyes in addition to the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that are routinely used to screen job seekers. You have carefully and purposefully crafted your profile language and you even spent a few dollars to have professional photographs taken for the all-important profile picture. This has also helped you to feel that your chances of attracting a recruiter or hiring manager, whether you are gainfully employed or seeking employment, will be enhanced. This is a reasonable assumption. But, are you unwittingly making an error of commission?
Let’s say that you have many friends and people with whom you are connected on social media. You post, they post, everyone is posting. It’s all but impossible to keep up with who is doing what. However, your error of commission is that you have not scanned your pages on social media in a couple of weeks. You finally log in to find that one of your “friends” or “connections” has posted a video and language that are offensive and vulgar. The post was made 10 days earlier. You are shocked, offended and angered. You immediately “unfriend” or “remove” this person but the damage to your image may have already been done. While you now call this person’s judgment and character in to question, this may be exactly what a recruiter or hiring manager did with you when they looked to see if you have a presence on social media. But, you will never know, will you? Failure to catch something like this sooner rather than later could cost you your job or keep you from being hired for one.
It’s important to check your pages on social media regularly. You can’t control what a person posts but you can control the people with whom you are connected. Select your connections wisely. One would think that common sense about decency would prevail but common sense isn’t as common as you may think. And, someone is always watching, whether you realize it or not.