Many people use social media to connect with friends and family, share their thoughts, and put portions of their personality on full display. Often, hiring managers examine a candidate’s social media profiles to look for a variety of red flags, including comments and connections that could indicate bias, misalignments between their profile and their resume, and even to see if you share certain network connections.
However, job seekers aren’t the only ones who may have their profiles scrutinized. Your current employer is likely keeping an eye on your social media pages, too.
Why Your Employer Is Monitoring Your Social Media Pages
A company may choose to check out an employee’s social media pages for a variety of reasons. For example, if a worker is using a substantial amount of sick leave, they may look at their profiles to see if any posts suggest they weren’t ill. Similarly, people who have claimed serious workplace injuries may be monitored to see if they take part in activities they said were no longer possible because of the injury – something that, if discovered, can lead to charges of fraud.
Additionally, an employer may check to see if you are sharing proprietary information publicly or are simply complaining about your job or the company. Looking for signs of bias is also common, as well as searching for posts that suggest you may take part in illegal activities, such as drug use.
People tend to reveal a lot about themselves on social media, so companies review those pages to look for signs of trouble.
Protecting Your Social Media Profiles
If you want to prevent employers from learning certain details about your life outside of the workplace, you need to take specific steps. Usually, the first thing you should do is adjust the privacy settings on your personal account to stop anyone other than friends from seeing your posts and pictures. However, this approach might not be ideal if you use the profile for professional networking or job search activities.
In instances where you want your profile to remain public, you need to examine all of your posts and pictures. If you find something that would not reflect positively on you, delete or hide the content. You should also make sure that your primary profile photo, an image that is usually viewable by anyone, is appropriate as well.
It’s also wise to review any pages that you’ve “liked” or people you have “friended” or followed. At times, if you are connected to controversial pages or people, you may be considered guilty by association.
Similarly, see if any connections may reveal details you prefer not to share. For example, religious or political groups in your network could be considered an indication of your personal stance, and you might not want your employer to know that information.
Ultimately, it’s best to assume your company is examining all of your public profiles, so make sure to review the content and share wisely.