You think it would just take basic common sense to know that anything and everything you post on social media is subject to review by anyone and everyone right? I think people have just become so comfortable with putting it all out there for the world to see and hear, that many have forgotten that social media is also one of the very first places your employer or prospective employer will go to do a bit of eaves dropping. It is one of the easiest ways for someone to get a glimpse into who you are, what you stand for, and most importantly how you interact with people.

What Does Your Social Media Footprint Look Like?

Admittedly, whenever I am interviewing someone for a position with my company, even if it’s for a part-time position, I do check out their social media footprint. I am not looking to hire people who are exactly like me, who have the same background, are into the same things as I am, or share my political views. In fact, I genuinely value diversity in every form. The more diverse a company is, the stronger it is – without question. But, what I am looking for when I screen someone’s social media is to see how someone engages with others. Are they open-minded and respectful of someone with opposing views? Are they kind and courteous when responding to people’s comments on their posts? Do they use inappropriate language? Are they tolerant when someone disagrees with them or are they quick to anger, insolent in dialog? After all, the people you’re interacting with are supposed to be your “friends” right? If you’re not nice and respectful to them, why should I believe you’d be respectful and tolerant of co-workers? I also look to see the overall general nature of someone’s posts. Are the majority of posts positive or negative in tone? I mean seriously, who wants to hire negative Ned or Nancy?

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, more than 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 45% of employers use social media to check in on current employees, and those numbers are growing rapidly with many organizations utilizing social screening software. What they find can either give you an advantage or be a career killer. While you may not care that you’re offending someone on social media with your political views, just be aware that “someone” just might be the person you have an interview with on Monday. I am not saying you need to censor yourself from ever sharing your personal views on trending topics or political issues – we are all guilty, including yours truly. BUT, before you fire off a post in the heat of the moment take a deep breath and think who will see this? The answer is, just about everyone.