Asked by David on April 30, 2015
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on May 1, 2015
Social media is always tricky. Whether we like it or not, we all have a digital profile and have to be conscious of that when we post things on these sites. That being said, most recruiters will differentiate between professional social media (i.e. LinkedIn) and personal social media (i.e. Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Where you have to be careful is if you post something that causes these lines to become blurred. Posting opinions, picutures of friends, etc. is fine, but where it can become troublesome for you is if you post something that someone might believe could impact your professional life (i.e. use of alcohol, etc.). This can come into play through the use of newer tools that search the internet for your entire digital footprint. For the most part, however, recruiters and hiring managers simply do not have the time to search the internet for someone's social media. It may only come into play if something comes up while they are searching for potential candidates.
Answered by Cassandra, Hiring Expert at Verizon, on May 1, 2015
You've asked an excellent question and hopefully this response will guide your decisions related to social media usage as you search for employment. I teach a class and tell students all of the time that the internet has an incredibly long memory and forgets nothing. Keeping this statement in mind, remember that you'll have a long career and may decide to be in the public eye in your future and information that you've posted could come back to haunt you. It's suggested that you only post items that you wouldn't mind your parents or your favorite granny seeing if your information were to be broadcasted on the 7 o'clock news. You can totally have fun but keep in mind anything you post (or anything your friends post and tag you on) is not private and any potential employer, volunteer organization, family (present and future), etc. could access that information. In sum, use your best judgment when using any social media outlet at any stage in your life or career.
Answered by Nell, Hiring Expert at Pitney Bowes, on May 6, 2015
That is a great question! Our lives have become very integrated with the emergence of social media. Most recruiters do not go searching for what you are doing on Facebook, However, you would be surprised how small the world is these days. The best practice would be not to put anything on your social media channels that you would be uncomfortable with your workmates/recruiters/professors/supervisors/family members to see. This content can get around very easily and so my advice would be to play it safe! Best wishes in your job search!
Answered by Minde, Hiring Expert at The Schwan Food Company, on May 7, 2015
Great answers were already given, but remember to review your security options -- if you have things you want to share with only good friends, you can create a private group for that. A good general rule of thumb, though, is that e-mail and social media content are about as "private as a postcard."