Social Media.  Isn’t it wonderful?   We are all so connected and up-to-date with the minutia of each other’s personal lives.  Indeed, every aspect of our lives can be played out on Facebook.  Every waking thought that we have we can share, the very minute we have it.  Thus, the good, the bad and the ugly – are out there and all available for the world to see at the press of a button.

Whilst you might comfort yourself that you are aware of the privacy settings on Facebook, have you ever considered how your profile and your posts might negatively impact upon your job and career prospects?  At Trapeze, we are very mindful of the impact that a negative profile can have on current and prospective employers, and so highlight some of the issues for you to consider:

Be aware that when applying for a job by email, some prospective employers may use your email address to run an email plug-in such as Rapportive.  This search facility pulls all social media related information registered against your email account.  This means that prospective employers can gain access to your data.  Data that you have shared on social media platforms such as Facebook is therefore automatically sent to them.   This allows them to build a better picture of you as a person and prospective employee and can thus can seriously impact upon your future employment potential.

Locking down your privacy settings is essential whether you are currently happy at work or looking to change jobs.  Last year saw a switch to graph search.  This means that your profile is not automatically hidden.  We’d urge you to create a list of your co-workers so that you can exclude them from any controversial posts and can’t access anything which your friends might tag you in.

Whilst it may seem as though we are stating the obvious, it never ceases to amaze us or our employing Clients just how many people continue to up-date their Facebook profile when they are off sick!  Even more so, those who choose to spend time abroad to aid their recovery!  Even if the GP has sanctioned such a trip, it won’t impress your boss or that co-worker who’s envious of you and just waiting for you to put a foot wrong.  We’d strongly advise against selfies of you topping up that all-over tan or celebrating your holiday by downing copious amounts of Ouzo whilst dancing to Zorba the Greek on the tops of the local taverna’s tables!  We’d urge you to leave your profile alone, whilst off sick.  Even regular posts of just how very sick you are could be easily mis-construed!  It’s a bit like liking every post you see on Facebook. It gives the impression that whatever you are doing, off sick or not, that you are not really ill or if at home, that you aren’t focused on much else, apart from social media.

In fact, we’d advise you to strongly re-consider adding your boss or co-workers as friends on Facebook, however much you may feel that you all get along and are one happy family.

In addition, making comments about your boss or colleagues or entering any disputes they find themselves in even on a personal level – is an absolute no-no.  However well-judged you may feel your comments are, they can be negatively interpreted and construed by current or future employers.  Complaining about work or colleagues online is also a no-no, as future employers will not want you to do the same to them.

You should also stay off Facebook during working hours.  Looking deep into your lap whilst carrying out a task will only alert the boss to the fact that you aren’t focused and are looking at your phone.

If you have any concerns with regard to your own employment or promotional prospects due to your profile on Facebook or other social media platforms, and are applying for a job through Trapeze, then do ask our advice. We can work with you to sharpen up your image, which may just help make that difference you require to land you that dream job.

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