Guest Writer: Olivia Winslow
The average person spends five years of their life on social media. That adds up to the average person spending over 100 minutes a day on social media.
In those 100 minutes a day, you are bound to post at least one thing on one of your profiles. A lot of times, people think “no one important is going to see this” or “no one is going to care that I post this.” But the reality is the things you post now will follow you around forever.
A study shows that 51 percent of employers choose not to hire a job candidate because of something that they have posted on social media.
Many of you are thinking, “My profile is on private.” Well, a job recruiter’s job is to find out if the candidate is a good fit for their company in any way possible.
One way they do that is by looking you up on social media. If they see that you’re on private and they know someone who follows you, chances are they will ask that person if they can have a look at your account. Even if they do not ask to see your account or they don’t know it even exists, the people who do see the post or posts can screenshot that post and send it to your job recruiter, or, even after you get the job, they can send it your employer.
But what are some of the things that you commonly post on social media that can get you in trouble?
– Pictures, videos or posts of you partaking of alcohol in excess or using illegal substances.
– Pictures, videos or posts of you using inappropriate or vulgar language, including profanity, sexual and/or racist jokes.
– Pictures, videos or posts of a sexual nature.
In addition to getting in trouble for posting the things previously mentioned, you can be fired from a job you already have by posting negative things about your workplace, violating your company’s social media policy, posting things that are against company policy and many other circumstances.
There are two ways to protect yourself from running into trouble in the interview process or getting fired for the things you post on social media: not posting it in the first place and deleting inappropriate posts.
The best advice is to not post things on social media that might get you in trouble even if it is a private account. My rule of thumb is that if I wouldn’t want my mama or grandma to see it, then I don’t post it.
If you happen to be thinking “wait, there are some things on my social media accounts that could get me in trouble when I trying to apply for a job,” you can delete those posts. However, this is not a sure-fire fix because when you delete something from social media, it isn’t truly deleted.
When you delete something from social media, it is still retained because they consider it valuable marketing data. In some instances, such as on Twitter, people can still see your tweet if someone has quoted it, but when they click on the post, the tweet does not show up.
The moral of the story is to watch what you’re posting on social media. Remember, if your mama wouldn’t approve, it probably isn’t a good idea to post.
Olivia is a sophomore marketing major from Fairmount, Indiana.