Is your Facebook profile sending a good message to future employers? Could it give your boss an excuse to fire you? Find out below.
W hen Facebook launched way back in 2006, few predicted it would grow to affect our offline lives like it does today. Websites like Facebook rode the waves of a social revolution that has ultimately landed a few employees and job-seekers in hot water. After all, we were used to our online activities making little impact in the “real world”. That is no longer the case.
What you do online can follow you for a long time, and employers are taking notice. They don’t want an excessive party animal, irresponsible driver, or social pariah representing their business. In this day and age, the hiring decision can sway against your favor if your social media presence is too unprofessional. It’s also not uncommon to lose a job you already have for behaving badly on Facebook.
This begs the question: what does your Facebook profile say to employers? To find out, let’s look at what kind of content gives them a good or bad impression.
Your Facebook Profile Looks Good If:
- Your posts contain correct spelling and grammar.
- You share positive or uplifting content.
- Your profile picture looks professional.
- You are using Facebook for its intended purpose; connecting and sharing updates with friends and family.
Your Facebook Profile Looks Bad If:
- You have poor spelling and grammar.
- You consistently post violent or sexual imagery.
- You post pictures of questionable legality (i.e. drugs, excessive alcohol consumption)
- Your comments are consistently rude or abrasive.
- You insult your previous employers through status updates.
- You engage in link spamming or otherwise intrusive behavior.
Don’t Forget Privacy Settings
Some people use Facebook like a flyer or business card; it contains pertinent information for anyone interested, and is highly stylized and professional. Others use it for more personal reasons, such as reconnecting with friends and family, sharing personal photos, and chatting with friends. Some treat it as a mix of both.
Whatever you’re using Facebook for, it’s important to properly configure your privacy settings. Individuals seeking jobs in certain fields may wish to make their accounts publicly viewable. This displays confidence and professionalism to current or potential employers who value a respectable online presence.
Other employers don’t care as much. They simply want to make sure you aren’t going to embarrass the company. If you use Facebook for more personal reasons, it is perfectly acceptable to limit who can see your posts. Your profile photo is usually visible to the public, so you still need to make sure it looks professional.
In all, a little maintenance goes a long way. If you think your current Facebook profile might be costing you some job offers (or even worse, about to cost you your current job), then update your info, trawl through your posts, and delete any potentially objectionable material.
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