The 2019 Academy Awards were the first Oscars ceremony to run without a host in 20 years. The reason they ran without a host was a series of eight-year-old social media posts from comedian-actor-producer Kevin Hart, who was supposed to take the reigns of the awards show before old Tweets came back to haunt him.
If someone like Kevin Hart, one of the world’s highest-paid entertainers, can lose a job because of something he posted on social media, you better believe it can happen to you.
Email Address Professionalism
It can be surprising how many people seeking jobs are surprised that something as simple as their email address can keep them from getting their next job. Let’s look at two examples. Candidate A has the email address KyleJones1992@gmail.com while Candidate B has the address BootySpanker69@gmail.com. If all other things are equal, who do you think will get the job?
It’s extremely simple and common for people to have multiple email addresses these days, so a good tactic is to have one that indicates you are a professional and you are to be taken seriously.
In the job-seeking process, once we saw Candidate B’s email address, we would do our best not to embarrass him/her. Usually just saying, “Is your email address still BootySpanker69?” is enough to tip someone off that they need to change it.
Some job seekers complain that their social media accounts should not be taken into consideration when a company is deciding who to hire, but that is not reality. Therefore, keeping your online accounts professional is very important if you want to get – or keep – a job.
Today, companies very easily weed out candidates they see as potential problems, based on photos, posts, and articles shared online. Tech Needs looks at your social profiles as well for red flags. Here are some areas where professionalism is taken very seriously and can be the factor of you getting the job or not.
Negative posts about jobs
Your last job may not have worked out the way you wanted it to. That happens and we understand. But posting negative comments about former bosses, companies or co-workers can appear unprofessional – and also can make you look like someone who may not be easy to work with. We sometimes post things in the heat of the moment, and later, feel differently about a work situation. It’s a good idea to look at your posts and delete any about work that might come back to haunt you.
The same can be said for posting about your current job. Even if your privacy settings are keeping you “safe,” in your mind, that does not mean others won’t be able to see those posts and call attention to them to potential employers. A good practice is, don’t post about work, and then you know there will be no concern in that area for your potential new company.
Old Posts Come Back Like Ghosts
Even if you delete some things that could be construed as unprofessional, they could still come back to haunt you. Here’s a scenario. You go to a job interview and you happen to look familiar with the person working at reception.
“Where do I know him?” They remember, because you have common friends on Facebook, and find a photo they saved of you chugging on a bottle of whiskey with the caption, “Guess I’m calling in sick tomorrow.”
What do you think happens to your chances once they show that photo to human resources?
That wouldn’t happen, you may be thinking but you would be surprised at some of the stuff we see and some of the things our clients tell us they have seen about job seekers.
Another best practice is to be cautious about accepting friend requests from co-workers at a job where you just started. You probably don’t know these people well, and you have no idea what they might try to use against you as ammunition to the boss. When it comes to social media, it’s best to be cautious. Keep your social friends to your real friends.
Surely you’ve heard the phrase “being overqualified for the job.” LinkedIn is a wonderful social media application that has helped millions of people get connected professionally and find jobs. LinkedIn has an option to add groups you are part of as an aspect of your profile. You can also add a number of skills that you have that are available to be seen by companies that are looking to hire.
Keep in mind that a best practice is including groups and skills that are relevant to the type of work you are seeking. Loading those skills may make your profile more searchable but that might also make you look less credible as a hire, as many of your listed skills are not applicable to the companies you are trying to attract. Stick to your skill sets for the job you want.