Future employers search for candidates' presence on Twitter and other social media sites. Why? They’re looking for dirt, that’s why.
The less formal the social media site, the more likely people are to let their hair down. Thus, many recruiters want to know how job seekers show up on Facebook and Twitter.
“Watch out what you say on Facebook” is good advice. I hear it somewhere almost every day. Interestingly, Twitter hasn’t received as much attention, even though it’s much more public than Facebook.
I looked at some Twitter profiles for people in a very mainstream profession yesterday. Let’s just say that I was shocked, shocked, OK, maybe not shocked, but surprised, yes, surprised, and concerned, at what I saw people sharing.
What is the half-life of our Internet posts? I don’t know, but I still regret unwittingly sharing information about my politics and favorite movies with the world.
Who knew that our political contributions are posted on the Internet? Not me. Then.
Who knew that my local paper would print my “Favorite Movies of 2007” list, with my name, in both the paper and on the Internet? Not me. Really. I would not have copped to loving Blades of Glory if I had known.
Sheesh, I had to start blogging to try to bury this information beyond Google’s long reach!
Just for fun, I have imagined some Twitter profile content that would, in some way, be too much information to share with a future employer. Any resemblance these imaginary examples bear to any of the six-million plus profiles actually on Twitter is, of course, just an uncanny coincidence.
So here they are, 10 types of information NOT to discuss in your Twitter profile…
One more thing, I learned that there are a lot of self-described Grammar Nazis out there, so watch out! Spell check to avoid errors such as: regert mistakes that I have made, qaulity control supervisor, etc.
I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles and blog at AvidCareerist. For more information, you can find my LinkedIn profile here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best rule of thumb to follow is "if you don't want it posted in the newspaper, then don't post it on Facebook".
Just my opinion. :)
Also, kindly remember that the post is directed to job seekers. They can be "interesting" by posting information that recruiters want to know about them. Here are 12 ideas for starters: http://j.mp/aYOPhZ.
Although we have to recognize that it is happening and advise candidates accordingly (as per Donna's OP), I don't believe "digging up dirt" is an acceptable avenue for vetting applicants and, as a profession, we have an interest and an obligation in discouraging this practice.