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Keep your pants on if you want a job

Well whanau we all know someone who has posted something on Facebook that has made us cringe a little! But did you know the post could also limit someone's ability to find a job and in some cases it could also lead to someone getting the sack. As someone who has led the worlds oldest and largest recruitment company I thought it was time to give you some insights on why you should always wear pants on Facebook!

for today’s generations X and Y the reality is that social media can come back to haunt you. Fact: employers and recruitment professionals WILL conduct a review of your social media and online life – so there is, essentially, no escaping what you post. While some people post images and comments about family life, whatever they ate that day for lunch, a snap of the kids or a pet doing something funny, an increasing number of people are posting what I call “career limiting” content.

In a 2014 survey by online jobs site CareerBuilder 51% of employers surveyed thought that candidates social profiles were unsuitable and therefore candidates for jobs were sent the dreaded “unfortunately your application was unsuccessful” which really meant “it’s not me, it’s you.” The horrible thing is that some candidates don’t even think that what they are posting is bad with some suggesting “what has my personal life and Facebook page got to do with my employer?” The answer: A lot!

Here are five things you need to know when it comes to social media:

Always where pants online

I know it’s sounds a little crazy but hear me out – you wouldn’t go out in public with just your undies on so why would you let the world see you half naked and spinning out online? Half naked is not about being undressed it is about the things you say and comments you make. While you may be posting something to bait others into a conversation (which happens a lot) and don’t necessarily believe what you said that’s not what potential employers see. For example, a candidate for political office recently replied to a series of comments suggesting women would prefer to be at home – his wife noted he didn’t believe what he said but that didn’t save his candidacy. Others make comments about human rights, use racist remarks and even go as far to suggest people with different looks and appearances should be called out. Imagine a future or potential employer sees those comments? The best course is to always “wear pants” online.

Party central and the booze animal is not a great employee

Ok, so I get you are the life of the party, I like to think I am as well, but to a potential employer they may see you as a workplace disruptor and law case in the making. When you are in the moment with your mates out have a beer or a drink it is tempting to take a selfie and post it. Not a problem; do it earlier on in the night and then turn your phone off. Why? Because as the night drags on the photos become more awkward and you are also at greater risk of posting comments and responses to comments you otherwise wouldn’t have done had you been sober. The last thing a potential employer wants in the ranks is someone who cannot control themselves or wants to be disruptive in the workplace by being the party animal.

Check your personal views in at the counter

I would give this advice to anyone irrespective of whether or not they are seeking work. Try and keep the hard core of your personal views, opinions and political beliefs in check if you know or suspect the comments will offend. In one example a young 23 year old thought that a certain ethnic group of people were “unskilled migrant workers who are better off being kicked out of our country” – unfortunately for him the hiring manager was from that ethnic group, was highly skilled and born in the very country where she and the young man lived (it turns out he was not). He didn’t get the job and when confronted with his comments was highly embarrassed. You put yourself at a distinct disadvantage when you post these sorts of comments on social media because once they are there – they are generally there to stay.

Be careful what you post because some posts on social media could land you in the clink...

Clean your profile up

If you think you have posted things that you otherwise wouldn’t have in normal circumstances then go back and clean your profile up. Keep in mind this is not about limiting freedom of speech or anything else; it’s about you sitting down and saying “should I have posted that picture or made that comment?”

Rule of thumb

This is it the best and easiest advice I can give. If you wouldn’t kiss your other with those lips, make that comment to your grandmother or wear only your dirty undies in public then don’t post it on social media.

Employers, hiring managers and recruiters do undertake social media audits so don’t give them an excuse to say “no” to your job application.

  • About the author: Matthew Tukaki is the Host of Talking Lifestyle: Second Career across the 2UE Radio Network. Matthew is Chairman of the global entrepreneurs movement, the EntreHub and Chairman of the global news distribution business, NewsNow. Matthew is formerly the head of one of the oldest and largest recruitment companies in the world, Drake, and is Chairman of Australia’s National Coalition for Suicide Prevention.

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