03 Jan

03 January 2024

Social media has become an invasive weapon in today’s digital world. It’s an entertaining way to meet new people and broaden your horizons; however, it can also hinder your future and aspirations. Social media can be a fun way to unwind for many users, but it can harm those attempting to break into the job market. Recently, social media checking by a possible employer is considered a background check.

The snooping might seem unfair, but employers have a strong reason for checking a candidate’s social media presence and interactions. Some recruiters require you to fill in your social media handles when completing a job application. Of course, no company is willing to hire a candidate who will diminish the company’s reputation. If you are actively looking for a job, you can be sure that recruiters are researching you – even on social media. So what must you not do?

Be appropriate and discreet

Before posting anything that can cost you your dream job, consider your reputation and the message you send to recruiters. If you are looking for a better job but are currently working, keeping your dissatisfaction with your current employment a secret is advisable. Speaking poorly of your present company to a recruiter or in a public place will only paint a bad image of you to recruiters.

Alcohol and illegal substances are a ‘No’

Keep those drinking photos somewhere private. Your prospective employer or recruiter doesn’t need to know about your wild nights and crazy social activities. Drugs and any other illegal substances are a no-go zone. If it’s against the law, don’t get involved in it. Making jokes about drugs or having pictures taken of you smoking a joint will only do you more harm than good.

Avoid swearing and use suitable vocabulary

Although it may seem old-fashioned, maintaining a clean image on your social media can work in your favour. More often, recruiters and hiring managers will scan your social media pages to see whether or not you pay attention to what seems like little things. If your spelling and grammar are wrong on a public platform where everyone can see your writing, you probably have poor writing skills or don’t care what others think.

Don’t be personal

We all go through troubles in life, and a meltdown can happen, but personal problems should remain private. Employers want to hire candidates who will focus on their work without being distracted by outside factors. If you share your issues on social media, you might find a “venting buddy” and offload your problems at work, potentially decreasing productivity.

Think about everything you say and post – if the roles were reversed, would you, as a recruiter, want to send a vulgar, inappropriate candidate to an interview? No, right?

UASA encourages young people who are employed or actively seeking employment to be cautious about their social media presence. Initially, it may seem like nothing; however, a small mistake can cost you your entire career and future. Keep in mind that the internet always remembers. It’s entirely impossible to wipe the digital footprint.

Ref: www.labourguide.co.za  www.careers24.com   www.uasa.org.za

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