As recruiters, we’re the best at finding information about you. Your last job, your embarrassing moments, photos from your sixth birthday party that your mother, new to the world of Facebook, has graciously just uploaded.
Whatever it is, if it’s online, we can find it.
There is a popular and widely held belief that hiring authorities use that level of access to make a judgment about whether you’ll be suitable for the role at our client that we’re currently hiring for, and in a lot of cases, long before they meet the person.
So naturally, how honest you should be on your social media is a source of nail-biting anxiety for most people. Should you set up a separate Facebook account? Do you need to go back and delete past pictures? Or maybe you should delete your social media entirely.
The standard advice overwhelmingly tells you to be careful about what you post, because you should be conveying a professional image at all times. But in a digital world where we spend hours online, perhaps more time than we spend in reality, is it really fair to ask us to hide over half of ourselves?
If you start to research this, there’s hundreds of articles that will list the ten social media mistakes that will COST YOU YOUR JOB! By the time you’re done, you’re in a frenzied panic and you’ve deleted your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, because you’re now convinced you’re getting fired if someone finds that picture of when you fell over on the dance floor that one time. That is, until a few hours later when you creep back onto Facebook because you’ve realized you can’t actually live without it, and how will you invite everyone to your next birthday party anyway.
But here’s the thing that we all seem to be missing. As recruiters we hire for team fit and culture, and your social media is a reflection of who you are. It gives us a better idea if you’ll fit into the environment we’re hiring for, and surely that’s beneficial for everyone? If any recruiter or hiring manager checks you out on social media and comes to the conclusion that you’re not right for the team, then why would you want to be there anyway? We spend far too much of our lives at work to spend time in environments that aren’t in tune with who we are as people.As recruiters we hire for team fit and culture, and your social media is a reflection of who you are.Click To Tweet
Of course there are some very obvious things that you shouldn’t be putting on your social media, like racist, sexist or derogatory comments. Basically, just be a good human, but that goes for online and offline.
As for pictures of you with drinks in your hands, or that time you did fall over on the dance floor, or even those beach body pictures; that’s just human behavior and you living your life. If any organization doesn’t like the fact you have a picture with a drink in your hand, they’re probably not the organization for you.
In a business world of bean bags and casual attire, ping pong tables and flexible working, isn’t it long past time we stopped splitting ourselves in half? Stopped pretending we’re one person online and another in reality?Stop pretending you’re one person online and another in reality.Click To Tweet
So we’re calling it just like it is. Stop creating fake Facebook profiles every time you’re on the market for a new job. It doesn’t serve you and will probably be more detrimental in the long run. And if you really don’t want recruiters and potential employees snooping around your online activities, then simply make your social media private. You are not required to make your online life available to anyone but your approved circle of people. Plus, Facebook now has privacy settings that are harder to crack than getting into Fort Knox, so you in either case, you should be just fine. Our simple advice though – just be yourself.