As the NFL Draft started tonight there were some surprising situations that affected the outcomes predicted by professionals. One of the most significant changes in the predicted draft order was triggered by an unexpected social media post affecting the dramatic drop in the selection of Laremy Tunsil from Ole Miss – a top 10 pick plummeted to the 13th pick saved by the Miami Dolphins. Many Phoenicians will know Ole Miss from the memorable story of Michael Oher – the movie The Blind Side. So how did social media change the expected results and how can you make sure that your online presence doesn’t adversely affect your ability to move into your next career opportunity?
What social media do you use publicly and why?
You may be using certain platforms to establish a media based presence as a blogger or someone who has credibility in a specific area. If that’s the case, make sure that you’ve limited your content to articles that won’t trigger emotional reactions from your potential employer. If you don’t need to be on some platforms while you are job searching – make them private or be sure that they are ‘hiring appropriate’. If you don’t need to be on Twitter or Instagram and you only use them socially – consider taking a break during job search unless you limit content to ‘job search appropriate’ pictures/links/commentary.
Can your network damage your job search opportunities?
Everyone has a friend who wants to ‘tag’, ‘hashtag’ or @ you in every comment or post. If any of those people have content that wouldn’t be favorably viewed as professional and in good taste by your next employer, you have a few choices. Ask that friend not to tag/hashtag/@ you anymore…unfriend that person until you are hired…make your account private and be very selective on who can include you in their content and then limit your tagging/hashtagging/@ ing.
Your past can follow you – the internet is forever….
It seemed fun at the time. No one would ever put that on their personal account and there isn’t any way that an employer would find that picture. Tunsil probably thought the same thing a year and a half ago when he made a choice that he now wishes he could retract. The bottom line of job search – whether it’s through the NFL Draft, a campus career fair, or a citywide recruitment event – is that the hiring company will try to learn as much about you as possible before they invest in you and your career. The candidates that understand how competitive the process is will take control of every aspect of the way they represent themselves to the prospective employer – including their social media presence.