Is your personal social media ready for employer scrutiny?

Over the years, when I was looking for a new job, I would scour the want ads and have a heated debate with myself as to which paper stock I would have my resume printed on.

Today everything has changed.

The art of finding a job has gone completely digital. No more black finger print smudges from flipping through page after page of newspaper classified ads, and no more mailing or faxing in resumes. Companies have embraced technology and now use Workopolis, LinkedIn, Facebook and other forms of social media to find suitable candidates.

This is fantastic …however did you realize that because companies are so social media savy that what you post on your personal social media sites can play a huge role as to whether or not you receive the call for an interview.

Working at the Centre for Business Career Development at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, I have really become aware of what employers are looking for from a candidate. And in many cases, a candidate’s social media presence has played a role. In our recent recruitment cycle, we’ve had three students removed from different competitions due to inappropriate comments on their social media profiles.

Is this fair? Some will argue that it is their own personal space and what a person does in their free time shouldn’t have an impact on their career. However, companies will argue that if a person is presenting themselves in an inappropriate way online, how they will represent the company?

2 thoughts on “Is your personal social media ready for employer scrutiny?

  1. Great post, it’s definitely something to consider as a job candidate. I’m not sure whether I consider it fair game or not, I know I look up a company online before applying for a position! Of course no matter what you do have to be careful about what you post online, whether or not it relates to professional or personal issues.

  2. I think it is important to consider the upside of social media in securing employment, too. Potential employers can see your network on LinkedIn and possibly reach out for an informal reference. As a job seeker, you can reach out to people easily to seek a reference or identify new opportunities in their companies. So while you may be judged by your social media image, you also have so many more tools to find those formerly unadvertised jobs.

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