How Your Social Media Profiles Can Affect Your Job
You may assume that your social media profiles are your own business and strictly between you and your friends, but many employers and prospective employers check your profiles and pages regularly or when you apply for a job. They may get an impression about who you are and what type of employee you might be, for good or for bad. In some cases, social media profiles have cost people their chance at a new job or their employment with a company.
Locking your profile on Facebook or making it private may not be enough to keep out an employer’s prying eyes because some have been known to ask employees or prospective employees to open up those pages in front of them or give them the password so they can check the page. The legalities of this are still being discussed, which is why it is good to consider why your social media profiles are so important to employers, and why you need to consider what you keep on your profile while working. This is especially true if you work in a very professional environment.
If you are looking for a job, a prospective employer may get an idea of what type of person you are from your posts on Facebook or your tweets on Twitter. If you brag about being out at the bar every night or if they see how you have badmouthed your former employer, this tells them that you may not be the best person to work for them. If you like violent movies and video games or other questionable activities, they may also get an unfavorable impression. Pictures of parties or indecent images or questionable jokes can keep an employer from hiring you or cause one to consider terminating your employment.
For those who already have a job, employers may still check your Facebook pages and other social media outlets. If you complain on your page about how much you hate your job, this obviously is not going to go over well with your employer. If they notice that you are updating your page during work hours, this too may be ground for a reprimand or even dismissal! Some have mistakenly updated their Facebook pages or tweeted about taking a sick day from work when they were not really sick, only to be caught by their employers and terminated. All of these types of updates are very dangerous when they are public.
You may not think it is fair that your social media profiles are being viewed by an employer, but until laws are put on the books protecting your privacy, it is best to be careful about what you post. Your job is probably worth more than a few silly posts online.