By Jaquelyn Diaz-Cobo
Today, 81 percent of Americans have a social media account in 2017, according to Statista. This statistic is including, but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. These are all components that contribute to being “socially active” in society today. Most people now create their social media accounts as young children and keep them active as they grow older.
Having a social media account can be a deal- breaker for companies and organizations looking to hire new employees. Most don’t realize that when they post to their social media accounts, even if they delete the post, it lives on the internet forever.
Employers use people’s social media accounts as tools to further investigate their applicants to get a first impression of the people they are considering for hire. Moreover, candidates searching for jobs need to be more aware of what they are posting online. Big corporations will look through applicants’ Facebook accounts to determine their employment status; an example of a major corporation that does this is Allstate.
“Social media can define someone’s application status,” said Olga Otero, a Director of Talent Management and Human Resources for Allstate.
Examples of inappropriate online posts can consist of irresponsible drinking, doing illegal drugs, provocative pictures, inciting hate speech and much more. Even if a post is years old, it can still be taken into consideration.
However, social media can also be used as a positive platform even to help people find jobs and internships, such as what LinkedIn does. LinkedIn is a social media app that big name companies can post job opportunities on for potential candidates for hire. Prospective employees can use the app to post their resumes and interests and to contact potential managers. This can be used as a positive way to find a job.
Facebook can also be positive in some ways if used professionally, such as by posting about hobbies or family-oriented pictures or quotes. Potential hiring managers look for candidates that are organized and well-rounded individuals as well. Social media supplements both of these and can help boost one’s position during the application process if used appropriately.
Today, more businesses are checking social media accounts as a way to fact-check people’s resumes. More often, they are checking status updates to make sure that applicants are maintaining the lifestyles they have indicated on their resumes and applications. If their online personas do not coincide with the documentation they have provided, they are sometimes simply thrown away, and they move on to vetting another candidate for the job.
It has become an endless cycle of how many people are not getting hired as easily as they used to, and it’s by their own doing. People that are looking for jobs are finding themselves more and more reliant on unemployment aid due to their inability to be professional and appropriate on their social media accounts.
This is becoming one of the leading issues of employment and unemployment today. Many find themselves without a job and don’t know the reason why. Executive boards are responding and reaching out more to the community to enlighten future employees to start paying more careful attention to what they are posting on social media. For example, from the get-go, companies and employers are stating on their applications that they will check through everything relating to a potential employee.
Social media has an extensive impact on a person’s well-being and their job or career. It has the ability to make or break an opportunity that could change a person’s life with just one click. This issue has become a leading factor in unemployment. Social media can also increase a person’s chances of earning a job or being offered opportunities by using the appropriate techniques and the right apps. Social media will continue to grow as we continue to expand the internet and its endless possibilities of making connections.