In an Internet-saturated world, pretty much everyone has at least one social media account. We use these accounts to banter, play, have fun, get into heated debates, and even disagree. Unfortunately, how you behave online can significantly impact your ability to get employed later on. These four digital mistakes just might cost you your next job if you aren’t paying close enough attention.
We live in an era where almost everyone has a digital footprint, an online index of information that just about anyone can access — including a future employer. If you think your online profiles are private, you’re not monitoring your footprint, you have no online presence at all, or you behave poorly online, you may be at risk of losing a potential employer when he finds your information. Get the scoop in this expose.
These Digital Mistakes Could Cost You Your Next Job.
You love having fun with your friends. Maybe you are passionate about politics. But do you also like to document your life on the internet? If so, you may want to think twice about the digital footprint you are creating. The online, digital mistakes you make during your high school and college years may be exactly what keep you from getting your dream job in the future.
You Think Your Online Profiles are Private
They’re not. There is more information about you online than you probably realize and your employer does have a right to search your name as part of the candidate screening process. Comments you’ve made on Twitter, photos you’ve posted on Instagram, and even comments you’ve made on blogs or news sites will all reflect back on your application. What will a potential employer find?
You’re Not Monitoring Your Own Footprint
Set up a Google alert for own name. Every time your name is mentioned in an online public forum, you will get an alert from Google. This means you’ll be able to better monitor what people are saying about you and take action if something negative comes up.
Take some time now and then to go through your profiles, delete images that are unsavory or questionable, and get rid of contacts that distract from your overall image. Do what you can to add positive content that will counter or bury anything negative that you can’t necessarily delete.
You Have No Online Presence
We’re living in a digital world, so not having an online footprint can be just as harmful as having a bad one. What if an employer narrows his choices to two candidates — you and someone who has an online presence? They’ll see all of the positive things your competitor has done and absolutely nothing about you. The good news is that you can create profiles that are carefully curated to portray the professional image you want people to see.
You’re Caustic and Casual
What do you see when you look at your online profiles? Do you use profanity? Do you start arguments and air a lot of personal drama? Do you over-share things that should be personal? Maybe you’ve made comments that are considered rude, discriminatory, or even racist. Are you a cyberbully? Do you forget about grammar and punctuation when you are posting online? Maybe you post a ton of selfies — or inappropriate selfies. All of these things will have a huge impact on how a potential employer sees you.
Your digital footprint serves as a resume of sorts. It’s the one that tells an employer what you’re really like outside of work — where you’ve been, what your hobbies are, and how you think. Close all of your old, unused social accounts, start cleaning up your timelines, and tighten up your security settings so that you can make as much information as possible private. Going forward, don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see online. Your job prospects may depend on it.