Warnings have always been given about being discreet about the things you post online. Before it was just about blogs but now, with the social media boom, it’s about things you post using your social media accounts.
The warnings are now proving to be very wise especially with the recent results from the Harris Interactive survey (survey was commissioned by CareerBuilder.com), which showed that out of 2,667 HR professionals 45% said that they check prospective candidates social media accounts before hiring (or not hiring) them. An additional 11% indicated their intent to also start using social media sites as part of their screening process.
With such widespread use of social media sites as a step in the screening process it would be simply stupid to not start cleaning up your social media accounts if you have dirty laundry aired online or simply have an account that does not reflect the impression you want to make on prospective employers and/or clients.
Some of the things you can start checking would include:
Your contacts – As the saying goes “ Show me who your friends are and I will show you who you are.” Having too many “unsavoury” friends might reflect badly on you.
Your old posts – If old stuff where you will look unprofessional (to say the least) are still up for everybody to see them delete them. This includes blog posts.
Your account settings – If you don’t want to take anything down just make sure you set your account to private so that everything will only be for your friend’s eyes only. However, remember that accounts can be hacked and disgruntled friends might leak out posts.