Social Media is Killing Your Job Prospects

It happens every day. Someone in my Twitter feed or Facebook timeline, does or says something that makes me cringe. Not because they are using foul language (you know to be careful with that, right?), or that they are being overtly inappropriate.

But because they are being a whiny, pain the butt.

I am not going to lie and say I understand how people lose perspective and download their thoughts about the world without considering the impact before doing so. Maybe I’m old, or old school, or just overly paranoid. As they say, once it’s out there – it’s out there.

As an HR professional (and any recruiter and hiring manager with a brain), I will be checking these accounts before making an offer. There is no exception.

I’ll use a real life example – so you can see what I’m talking about. I have a real life friend (let’s call him Bob) who is actively seeking a new job. Not overtly, but he’s definitely ready to move on to what’s next. As a person, he’s a hard worker, easy to get along with, doesn’t rock the boat, and delivers slightly above average – a good employee.

But when you look at his Twitter feed, for the love of Nancy, he’s a hot freaking mess! He is always complaining about everything, updating unnecessary information, bitching and moaning about the most minute things around him. When he’s not complaining, he’s judgmental and critical about his current job.

I’m pretty sure he has no clue that he comes across this way – but he does. As a perspective employer, I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole!

Why? If I didn’t know him personally, I would have the impression that he’s a “difficult” employee – always complaining, impossible to manage because of his whining, never content, not a high-performer, doesn’t get along well with others, and so on.

It’s time to gut-check your social media updates people! I know when you post you aren’t thinking about impact or potential employers or your overall “mood.” But you need to.

Bob has been interviewed many times and has yet to get past the first in-person interview. You know, the sweet spot when they decide if you know what you’re talking about, if you’re a fit with the company, and if they’d want to have you on as an employee? The time when the hiring manager will do a search on you before deciding to move forward or not.

He just can’t seem to figure out WHY he’s not being invited back. Ahem, his Twitter feed anyone?

I know that it’s soooo easy to simply post things these days and being active on social media is important. But I implore you – think, before you tweet/post. If you need to complain or whine or be annoying, text a friend. They are still there for that you know? Don’t think that having a private account is enough – it’s not.

Use your brain and stop the virtual stream of consciousness (please). You are severely hurting your chances of being successful in your job hunt – which is exactly the opposite of what you’re working so hard to do. Not to mention inducing eye rolls from your friends (we don’t care to hear it to a mass audience, 100 times a day).