When you are searching for a job, you have to be careful about what you post on social media. Recruiters will look you up and examine your online accounts mostly your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. Unfortunately, this screening is something that you can’t avoid no matter what you do. According to The Independent, one third of employers use social media to recruit and overall 75 percent are using Facebook as their first choice.
While you would think such facts should have made jobseekers extra careful about what they post on social media, not many care about the image they are projecting to the world. But there is enough evidence they should…
As far as it concerns social media and looking for a job, you have to think about what you want to show employers. While retaining a social media presence is considered to be an advantage for jobseekers, posting selfies with inappropriate contexts can hurt a candidate’s chance of getting hired. In fact, a recent survey from Jobvite showed that 25 percent of recruiters reported to having a negative perception of selfies.
Recruiters know that taking selfies is currently a popular trend that is likely to continue to be relevant for quite a while, so I am guessing they are already showing enough patience. But given that many employers may be taking selfies and posting them on their profiles as we speak – in their private life, why should they be annoyed about it?
Well, the truth is that selfies reveal personality traits that could turn employers off. An employer may think that someone who takes selfies is self-absorbed and less of a team player as opposed to someone who doesn’t take any. Psychology professor Keith Campbell says there are two main motives behind this idea: one is narcissism, which is doing stuff to get attention from people and the other is to maintain relationships and expand your social network.
Apart from narcissism experts say that taking selfies is a sign of addiction and mental illness. According to Dr. Pamela Rutledge, “Preoccupation with selfies can be a visible indicator of a young person with a lack of confidence or sense of self that might make him or her a victim of other problems as well.” As she states, taking selfies gives out the impression that these people aren’t confident enough about themselves which is a quality most employers look for. This means that they wouldn’t be considered as ideal candidates for any job.
Another issue that comes up with selfies is that employers may believe that jobseekers don’t understand the line between private and public life. As such they might post content that is considered to be unprofessional and inappropriate. In fact, it is relatively easy for a selfie to appear as narcissistic or disrespectful. When you are taking a photo of yourself, while you are in class or even in a sacred place for example, at a church and that’s why it’s best to be avoided.
An excellent way to do this is to be constantly aware of your social media presence. But if you absolutely must take a selfie, at least, do it discreetly - or take a ‘healthy selfie’ or as Rutledge suggests:
- Limit the number of selfies you take weekly or daily – if you must.
- Delete selfies that could be perceived as unprofessional.
- Keep selfies that also include other people and share them only with friends.
- Keep seflies that show you travelling or show a unique interest you have.
- Make selfies look less posed – avoid duck faces.
Before you take your next selfie and post it on your profile, you better ask yourself what your future employer will think about you. If you do like selfies, that’s okay, just make sure that they give out a positive image of yourself, not the other way around. Give it a good perspective, don’t just post selfies to praise your looks, and above all make sure it empowers your personal brand.
Selfies can be bad for your job search unless you know how to control the urge of taking photos of yourself. If you enjoy taking selfies so much, the best thing you can do is not post them on social media. That way you are not risking your chances of getting hired, and you still get to keep your favourite photos.
What’s your opinion on taking and posting selfies online while looking for a job? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below…