Human Behaviour

Winning at Work: Perception Plays a Key Role in Getting a Job

Impressions formed from information from social media can leave hiring managers with a bad impression of a job applicant. Potential employers may look at your social media presence prior to extending an offer of employment. Embarrassing photos and/or disrespectful language may hinder your ability to get a position. When applying for a job, you should be aware of each platform’s policies and procedures because they tend to vary; focus on the quality of your posts rather than the quantity; use Twitter and LinkedIn to play up your professional interests; and cross-check your résumé and LinkedIn profile to make sure there aren’t discrepancies. You should not badmouth a current or former employer, colleague or company, nor should you use foul language or make negative remarks or post anything that might be perceived as racist, biased, or illegal. You should make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors in your materials, and you need to keep your profiles updated.

Discussion Questions/Topics:

  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages to employers of using social media screening as part of the hiring process.
  • How can employers most effectively use social media screening as part of the hiring process?
  • What actions could you take to ensure that your social media presence portrays an appropriate professional reputation?