For many job seekers, the Internet presents two very different worlds. One consists of hanging out with friends via social networking, and the other focuses on the seriousness of a job search.
Having the worlds collide could result in the playful social media environment posing problems for a job search since many employers conduct online research to determine candidate eligibility. This is why, if you're looking for work, it's best to avoid the following mistakes that could hinder your job-seeking process:
1. Leaving Your Profile Page Open to Strangers
If you're conducting a job search, now's the time to set your personal profiles to private. Doing this ensures that your personal information is viewable only to your friends list—not employers digging for information that could remove you from candidacy.
2. Including Your Real First and Last Names on Your Profiles
On sites like Facebook, it's often difficult to use any name but your real one. But if you want to keep your private and job-seeking lives separate, now's the time to find a way to alter your name. If you can't change the names on your sites, consider temporarily deactivating them. **Or stop posting information that is unprofessional and in this day and age – easy to find.
3. Displaying Unprofessional Profile Photos
An employer doesn't have to be on your friends list to see a profile photo of you on display. So be sure not to make the photo of you lying drunk on the curb your main profile picture. Instead, consider a professional picture—or even a cartoonish avatar as an alternative. If an employer conducts a Google search of your name any pictures affiliated with your profiles may pop up on the first results page.
4. Allowing Friends to Post Unprofessional Comments
Managers often judge crude or offensive comments left on profiles, even if they're left by someone else. So in case your profile slips through the cracks and is viewable by some hiring managers, make sure all comments listed are PG-13.
5. Tweeting about Bad Work Behavior
You may want to Tweet to your friends that you got away with being late for the third time this week. But while job seeking, it's best to avoid these types of Tweets as they could look bad to a prospective employer who is looking for a way to judge your work ethic.
6. Bashing Current/Previous Employers
Many people like to make comments about how their coworkers or boss made them mad. Keep in mind that prospective employers will be looking for this type of information, so refrain from making these comments at all costs.
The slightest mistakes made while playing in the world of social media could make a huge difference in your being hired. So keep this in mind as you decide how you will allow your social networking and job seeking worlds to coexist.