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ASK HR: I lost this job because of the content I post on social media



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Q Late last year, I was interviewed for my dream job and was very hopeful that I would be successful, only to receive feedback a month later that the job had gone to someone else. I was disappointed and decided to seek detailed feedback on why I was rejected. I was told that my posts on social media may have cost me this job. What do employers look for when they go through your social media pages?

The social media reference report should alarm you. With so many qualified candidates in the market, employers are going out of their way to look for possible ways to identify the right hire, and no doubt, the public information available on social media platforms has become a useful source.

Employers are checking many things, ranging from the image you portray on your media pages, the name you use to identify yourself, the people you are connected to, the messages you post or the comments that you like in other people’s posts.

A profile picture that has your image demonstrates authenticity and says that you are not afraid to be associated with the posts you make, while other images may show the stuff you value, such as family, sports, religion, travel – all these speak volumes, so does the name you use.

Using names that cannot be easily attributed to you may tend to indicate you like to be in the background, while you may have spoken so highly of your leadership attributes during the interview. A good leader does not hide under a masked identity, rather, stands out to be seen.

Going through your posts can easily identify the things you value, your convictions and your hobbies.

If you tend to advocate for fairness and justice, you are likely to come across as a people champion, but too much of this may be seen as anti-establishment and employers may be wary of your influence.

It is easy to pick out the religious folks from their posts, the fanatic sports fans, bench politicians who have a say on everything, the gossipy ones who always know who is doing what where, and then the arbitrators and results-oriented fellows who try to bring conversations to a conclusive call for action. That said, not being on social media is a minus.

I have interviewed candidates who view social media as an invasion of their privacy and prefer not to be distracted by trends yet this says a lot about their adaptability to change.

My favourite social media platform is Twitter, and on a dull day, I scroll down various trends and get thoroughly entertained, seeing how people respond to different issues.

Social media is just a platform, you own the content and have control of what you want to let the world know.

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