Your personal social media profiles can potentially seriously affect your professional life.
“Because we tend to view our personal social media accounts as being ‘personal,’ there’s a good chance that by viewing someone’s profile, you’ll get a glimpse into their personality beyond the resume,” said DeeAnn Sims-Knight, founder of Dark Horse PR. [Read related article: Tips for Creating a Great Resume]
Since it’s legal for employers to check public social media accounts, consider creating at least one account for professional purposes and keeping personal accounts private.
“One of the best strategies I have seen is creating multiple, separate social media accounts on social media platforms,” Case said. “Job seekers may have a professional Instagram account, for instance, where they share their office and work wins. They may also have a more private personal account that is locked and only allows a select number of individuals to follow it.”
Be wary of hiring managers requesting information beyond what’s available online. This is similar to employers asking inappropriate questions during interviews, and should raise a red flag about the firm.
“I have heard of employers asking candidates to provide their password and login credentials for social media,” Erhard said. “This is not technically illegal in many places, though, in my mind, it’s an uncomfortable invasion of privacy.”
Social media is an extension of yourself, and although it sometimes feels like cyberspace is detached from the real world, your actions online can have consequences for your professional life. When creating and sharing content on your social media profiles, stop and take a moment to think about how it may reflect on you beyond your immediate friend group. If a potential employer were to see it during a screening, would it harm your chances of landing that big job you’ve been hoping for? If so, consider not sharing it in the first place, or at the very least creating separate profiles for recreational posting and setting them to private.
Tejas Vemparala and Nicole Fallon contributed to this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.