Social media is a part of nearly everyone's daily life. It allows you to connect with friends, family members, celebrities, co-workers, and others in an easy, casual way. You can take part in someone's life in a way that feels intimate although you haven't seen them since first grade. Some people get too comfortable on social media and make posts that can hurt their careers. Here are some ways that you can prevent social media posts from coming back to haunt you when prospective employers do a background check.
Filter Yourself (and Then Do So Again)
One of the charms of social media is the accessibility it gives people to one another. You may be able to easily communicate with a celebrity, your fourth-grade teacher, and a medical professional on social media. However, this accessibility can be a double-edged sword. You can easily post anything that comes into your mind, but that doesn't mean you should.
Be sure to filter yourself carefully before posting anything. Just because the social media culture doesn't seem to value proofreading and double-checking each post is no excuse to avoid it. Filter your posts twice, making sure that you think that a post could not possibly result in negative consequences in your personal or professional life. If you are ranting about someone close to you or trashing a political figure, it's probably best to hit "delete" instead of "post".
Embrace Social Media for Its Positive Opportunities
Rather than use social media as a tool for fuming and ranting, as many people do, try to go in the opposite direction. Be positive in your social media posts. You are less likely to scare off potential employees who include social media in their background checks if you mostly post inspiring, positive, and professional things.
Social media can allow you to connect with like-minded people in your field, and it can even help you network. Job postings and company information are often shared on social media, and it can be easier to make friends with some people in your industry when you have the casual online environment of social media as a host. Focusing on the positive things about social media can help you avoid being negative and making offensive posts.
Don't Get Comfortable in a 'Friends-Only' Zone
You may feel safe making friends-only posts on Facebook, but the truth is that anything you post on social media can be held against you in some aspect of your life. Not everyone on your "friend list" is necessarily a friend, and you cannot guess what anyone's motives may be for connecting with you on social media. Only post friends-only posts that you would feel comfortable sharing with the whole world.
Finally, keep in mind that the rules of social media engagement are dynamic. They may change quickly, and you may be using social media apps next month that you don't yet know about. Things are sure to keep changing over time, but being careful about what you post and taking the time to do high-quality posts will always be appreciated. To learn more about how far-reaching a background check can be, contact a company like Blue Systems International.