A Bit of Insight
As social media provides one with a lot of personal insights of one’s life, it often gets used by employers as well. According to surveys, 70% of all employers check out their potential applicants before hiring. Even though I understand the temptation of doing so on the very accessible internet platforms, I sincerely believe that it is wrong to use one’s privacy as an actual measure for one’s capabilities and characteristics. Empower the job interview!

Sliding in Your Privacy
From sending letters till sliding in DMs. Communication changed. Not only the daily life contact one maintains with one’s friends and family, but also the formal department. Back in the days, it was nothing more and nothing less than having physical contact with one’s employer. But that is no more. According to a survey conducted by Career Builder, a stunning 70 percent of employers utilize social media to screen potential candidates. Really? Yes, really.

It is a surprising phenomenon, especially if one looks at the fact that only 11 percent was screening social media platforms in 2006, as Career Builder illustrates. On top of that, not having an online appearance can be as equally impeding as having one. That is to say, 57 percent of employers are less likely to consider candidates they cannot find online. Also, 54 percent of employers refused candidates based on what was available at their profiles

To my observation, a lot of people are not too strict on what they post on social media. Moreover, I feel that it should not even matter. According to Merriam-Webster, social media are “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content (such as videos).” Keywords here are ‘online’, ‘personal messages’ and ‘videos’. These aspects should not be braided into a corporate area. Not at all.

I have witnessed the development of social media throughout the years. When its younger form started to evolve, I was genuinely excited. Finally a way to stay in touch with people who are distant from oneself! One could learn how one another was doing, supported by visuals, without having to ask for it. One would just start to scroll through a timeline that revealed all updates of one’s network. Pretty convenient – nobody would deny that. It gets a bit scary, however, when outsiders arise to get a little taste of it as well. In theory, that would be the same as interfering with someone else’s conversation, whilst one is not actually part of it. Pretty scary, really.

The downside of the possibility for others to check upon one’s digital content is that it can go deeper than just scrolling through content. In this matter, people can actually form opinions according to whatever they observe. It all seems like fun and games when you upload a photo of the restaurant you are visiting tonight. It gets a bit more intimate, however, when you share a photo of your intoxicated state of being that most honestly displays the reckless weekend version of you. Fun for your friends, but not so much for your job interview. Imagine to become one of the people who are refused because of their online behaviour. Exactly. You do not want that.

But let me get this straight. I do not feel that responsibility should necessarily lay with the person who posts on social media. Obviously, one should always think carefully about what is put online. In any respect, the idea of giving in to restraint just because technology made your platforms very accessible does not feel right. Everyone should enjoy privacy. And everyone should realize that. Even the most intelligent people will enjoy wild parties from time to time. It does not make one less capable of performing tasks.

Responsibility, discipline and dedication stay with the person who was just so keen on applying for that one job. There is more than the online appearance, which often tends to portray a non-accurate expression. According to Huffingtonpost, “people present a positive self-view to others”. Just as in real life, I would want to discover what more is behind a person’s appearance.  Look through prejudices. Check out what is on people’s minds. Empower that job interview!