Can a future employer ask you for your Facebook username and password in an interview? Of course they can. Can you say no? Of course you can. Can they remove you from their application pool? Oh, yeah. Check out Justin Bassett’s story published in USA Today where he was shocked during an interview when they asked for his personal Facebook information. With the increase in graduates and decrease in jobs available, employers need a way to filter down 400 applicants to one. Facebook is just another tool they can use to do it. Graduates now need to ask themselves: What Facebook fails could harm my chances of swimming toward my dream job? Globe University-La Crosse graduates and job seekers, avoid these Facebook fails:
FACEBOOK FAIL 1: A Negative Boo-Hoo Attitude
“I’m sick of winter.” “Wish I had off today.” “Is it the weekend yet?” What company would hire someone who uses their Facebook wall to complain about their life? No company, especially when your comments relate to your current job that expresses your dislike for your position. Chances are they are thinking that you will post bleakly about them too, or even worse, you’re just not a happy person, and no one wants to work beside a gloom and doom attitude.
FACEBOOK FAIL 2: Too-Good-of-a-Time Photos
It is ok to have a fun weekend out with boys or gals, but you don’t need to publicize it on Facebook with photos with alcohol or inappropriate clothing that makes an employer think: Are they at a costume party? Would they wear that to work? Do they do anything else besides party? If you run into a scenario where your friends want to take a group photo, just set down your beverage, so the employer sees you and not your drink.
FACEBOOK FAIL 3: Friends that are Friendly Foes
You can control what you post on your Facebook wall but not always what your friends or family post who may think it is cute to post a photo of you when you were four in the bathtub on their wall. A future employer won’t think it too cute even if your mother thinks so. Past childhood photos can be fun and humorous, just watch out for crossing the line into lip-curling responses from viewers, and be aware of what others may put out there without you knowing.
FACEBOOK FAIL 4: Play-by-Play of Your Day
“I had blueberry pancakes for breakfast—mmm.” “Just spoke to Mom on the phone. She is doing much better.” “It’s cold in here.” “Now, I’m hot.” “Am I having hot flashes?” As you post every six minutes, all the while, an organization viewing your profile questions if you are doing anything else besides Facebook. Over-posting expresses that you have too much time on your hands, or that you are ignoring one of the more important items in your life: your job. Will you snub them too?
FACEBOOK FAIL 5: Really, you “Liked” That?
A dog walking through the super market on his hind legs or a Taylor Swift video that has an interrupting screaming goat may be funny but do you want a future employer remembering that you “liked” this kind of material, or instead a Washington Post article that relates to your field? “Like” web pages, photos, and posts that correspond with your professional interests to demonstrate to possible employers that you are keeping updated with changes in your expertise. Doing this will make you seem more valuable to them because you will bring new knowledge to their company.
So, Globe University-La Crosse graduates and job seekers, you have three choices: sinking, swimming, or becoming a savvy sailor of the social media sea. Choose the latter and be aware of the five unflattering Facebook fails that could cost you a new job.
This post was written by Jodie Liedke. Liedke, a true Wisconsinite, having labored four summers in a mozzarella factory, received her BA from Lakeland College and her Masters in Fine Arts from Wichita State University in Kansas. Liedke is the General Education and Service-Learning Coordinator, a Creative Quill and Writing Across the Curriculum lead, and the adviser/instructor for GLUWW (Globe La Crosse Writers Write). When not writing creatively, Liedke enjoys watching films, exploring the outdoors, and biking.