Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Your Tweets And Posts Can Cost You A Job

It is possible that something you post or tweet could cost you a job.  No matter how innocuous it may seem.
We have all read about people checking out your on-line postings.  But now there are actually companies which are being hired to report on what you say and do.  It is frightening.

It goes way beyond advertising.  Apparently, there are firms now hiring individuals or companies to do social media background checks of potential candidates.  I don’t think advertising agencies are there yet, but surely it will happen.

The way it works is that the potential employer sets up criteria against which these companies should check and screen applicants to insure that they are hiring the "right kinds" of people. Your Tweets  and your Facebook comments are public record.  Something you did or said (or that was done or said about you) remains permanently for others to see and check.  So that means that the proverbial photo of you taken when in college with the lampshade on your head   could prevent you from obtaining a job, even many years later.

If you posted derogatory comments, even if true, about a high school or college friend or enemy, they become part of the public record and could come back to haunt you.  Even your politics, religious beliefs and other highly personal information and opinions become public information once posted on-line. Anything you have said or done could prevent you from getting a job.

Many big businesses hire companies to check on potential employee education, finances, criminal history and the like, but this new twist on background checking is, in my opinion, going a step too far.  Unfortunately, it is reality.

As a recruiter, I have seen many candidates rejected because of badly written thank you notes, or misspellings in writing samples.  The sad part is that most companies will not share the reasons for the rejection.  So, as a consequence, the job applicant may never find out why they have been rejected.  It is certainly the same with the social media.

My suggestion to everyone is that you go and examine your tweets, postings and blogs and delete anything you do not want a potential employer to know.

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