This past June, over 1.71 billion active users logged onto Facebook. Who knows who has been looking at your social media profile and posts. It could have been your roommate’s sister or that weird kid from the fourth grade. But what if it was your potential next boss?
According to Career Builder, there is an increasing number of companies that have dismissed job candidates due to finding questionable posts on their social media accounts.
It’s not only job recruiters checking your social media accounts. College admissions offices are, too. Kaplan Test Prep estimates that 40% of admissions officers are checking out prospective students’ Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Alan Katzman, social media expert and founder Social Assurity, has seen the best and worst of social media accounts. Before he started the social media education company, he worked for a company that performed social media background checks on new hires. While some candidates were impressive, others were even more so...but in the wrong way.
“The content was mostly sophomoric, unthinking and often embarrassing,” he said. “These published activities not only reflected poorly on these individuals but we concluded they would also reflect poorly on our business brand.”
Social media and online reputation management can be tricky for some. While it is something that is deeply personal, it does create a public and professional representation of oneself. Many think that they are safe by just setting their accounts to private, but there is much more than that.
“The focus on social media privacy is a ruse as nothing on social media is ever truly private,” said Katzman. “We teach our clients to never rely on privacy settings or platform promises of disappearance or anonymity for protection. The only way to absolutely keep something private is by never posting it in the first place.”
Like that’s going to happen. However, you can still enjoy social media while not turn off future employers or college admissions offices in the process. Here are a few things to keep in mind: