Should I Post This?

Social media: A young job-seeking adult’s biggest fear. Why? Because that ONE inappropriate comment or scandalous picture can deter your chances of getting the job. We all know employers are snooping: It is the easiest way to scope out candidates! My current employer even admitted to checking out my Facebook before hiring me.

In fact, according to Forbes writer Jacob Davidson, 93% of hiring managers are screening new hire candidates through their social media forums before hiring them. This being said, which social forums are they checking, and which ones are the best to post certain material on?

#1: Facebook/Linked In: Employers are overwhelmingly checking employees’ Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. The LinkedIn Profile is already a more professional setting, so there shouldn’t be much worry there, but Facebook is a whole other issue. Definitely avoid posting anything related to obvious partying, as even if you delete these posts, employees can still utilize tools to see the posts you have deleted.

Of course, everyone knows to keep scandalous material off Facebook for this reason, but there are certain things employers LOVE to see on your profile. Davidson admits employers are more likely to hire if they see positive material such as volunteer work or charitable posts- so Facebook can work to your advantage!

#2: Instagram: You are more likely to get away with posting borderline work-inappropriate material here, as employers are not looking at Instagram quite as much. There are privacy settings to keep your profile private on the app, but in my experience, I have been able to find an Instagram profile by searching it on a search engine. Again, employers are less likely to find you on Instagram as it is definitely a younger generation app compared to Facebook. The median age for Instagram users is between 18-29, whereas the median age for Facebook is near 40. Post with a little less stress, but make sure your profile is on private if you plan to share scandalous pictures!

#3: Twitter: Used less by employers than Facebook and LinkedIn, but is still somewhere to be cautious on. Even recently in the news, Lisa Greenwood-a loan officer of a bank- was fired for tweeting out a racist comment regarding Michelle Obama and her speech at the Democratic National Convention. Of course, we have free speech, but remember employers do not want to employ someone that disregards others’ beliefs and opinions so publicly. Between Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, it seems that Twitter is used the least by hiring managers-although according to a Jobvite survey, about 14% of employers have hired through Twitter.

#4: Snapchat: The best app for posting whatever the heck you want and letting it disappear FOREVER. Unfortunately, That is a MYTH! Of course, Snapchat is infamous for content that disappears in a matter of seconds, but even after doing some digging, I discovered Snapchat’s CEOs admitted back in 2014 this just is not true. There are ways to retrieve this “deleted” data, such as taking screenshots or opening snapchats through third party apps and saving them. This being said, employers are not adding potential employers on Snapchat without users’ knowledge. Technically, Snapchat would be the best forum to post your silly, worry-free material about your wild night.

Something else to think about- Davidson reveals about 66% of employers surveyed said they would hold poor spelling or grammar on a social media site against the candidate– so make sure you spell-check those tweets!

This is not meant to scare you and tell you that you will NEVER get a job if you post one borderline work-inappropriate post. This is meant to guide you in where you post what material and let you know the facts. Employers are definitely looking-and have the means to find deleted material- so you should be cautious that your social media behavior does not define your professional reputation.

-Lauren Thompson


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