It’s only words?

Want to hear the biggest misconception students have about employers and your own personal use of social media? Thought you might. It’s all to do with a recent employer event I attended at LinkedIn’s HQ in London. Unsurprisingly the subject of social media and recruiting students came up.

The misconception? That employers spend hours scouring your social media (Facebook, twitter etc.) profiles to find those incriminating photographs of students doing what most students do in their university days. Namely enjoying themselves, testing their boundaries and learning from their mistakes. This doesn’t surprise them. That’s not to say a photo of something shocking wouldn’t really test their patience but it’s actually what you write out there in the social media world, not what you’re photographed doing that captures their attention more.

So think before you tweet, post comments on message boards or in response to blog posts, or blog yourself. Employers aren’t trying to restrict your freedom to personally express yourself. But they reserve the right to make assumptions about how suitable an employee or work colleague you might be based on what they read that you’ve written.

David Gilchrist

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