*DING* “Katie tagged you in a photo”, 3:36AM.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all heard that *ding* that lets us know that we’ve been tagged in a photo or a post for everyone to see. The thought that usually passes through my head is, “Oh no… What if my mom sees this?” But what about the thought, “What if my boss sees this?” or “What if this ruins my chance of future employment?”
To think that employers don’t review your social media prior to allowing you to represent their company is naïve. Many companies have policies in place that require all candidates be checked out online prior to hire. Be prepared for employers to review your social media avenues, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr etc. Once a Tweet or photo is posted, consider it to be a lifelong representation of yourself. Even though you may have deleted the post from your wall or feed, it is still possible for others to find.
Social media, and the Internet as a whole, is shaping the way that the public perceives companies and the services that they offer. Although your social media is YOUR business, it becomes EVERYONE’S business if your privacy settings aren’t high enough. Even though you are an employee, the image that you create for yourself as an employee will have an effect on others’ perceptions of the company. If the company that you work for or you are applying to were to deem your social media activity inappropriate or harmful to their reputation, there would be nothing standing in the way of them denying or terminating your employment.
Tips to avoid popular social media mistakes:
- Clean up your feed.
Always be sure to clean up your news feed. Go through your photos and untag yourself from anything that could be perceived as inappropriate. The same goes for your posts and shares! If there is anything that could be seen as crude or questionable, delete it.
- Increase your privacy settings.
I personally have my Facebook settings quite high. I don’t allow my friends to post on my wall, tag me in photos or tag me in posts without it being approved first. Those who aren’t my friends can only see limited information on my profile. It only takes a few minutes to be sure that you aren’t revealing any information that you shouldn’t be!
- Start from scratch.
If it’s too much work to go through your current profile, delete it and start over. Create a profile that you will use professionally and not personally. If you are looking to use it for both, be conscientious of what you post. Be sure that the content is appropriate and acceptable according to your company’s standards.