Your social media history could cost you your job

Medford, Ore.– We all know that it’s important not to over share on social media, but what you do online could be the difference between getting a job or not.

“I’m really pounding the pavement right now looking for a job,” says Jaymi Watson.

Watson has worked in customer service in the Rogue Valley for over 15 years.

“I really want to find something that uses the skills and knowledge that I already have and that I am passionate about,” she says.

After stints with seasonal jobs that hasn’t lead to permanent employment.

“I need something that is stable,” Watson explains, “that’s going to pay my bills.”

Now Watson is approaching her job hunt differently, calling on Worksorce Rogue Valley in Medford to help.

“Getting them ready to enter the Workforce,” explains Devi-Ana Rosa-Stone, an Operations Supervisor at Worksource Rogue Valley.  She says whether people are just entering the workforce for the first time or are back on the job market for a career change, almost everyone seems to be surprised by one thing.

“Think about your public profile and how people are seeing it,” says Rosa-Stone.

While we all know social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have become a normal everyday part of social interactions with the world around us, what some might forget is how often employers are searching your profile which is easier than ever.

“like 99% of them are looking on your social media pages,” says Leah Fraser of Confident Staffing in Medford.  It’s Fraser’s job to recruit job seekers and pair them with employers who have openings.

But Fraser says, even a candidate who looks great on paper could cost themselves a job through social media.

“People don’t really realize how much social media comes into play when you’re looking for a job.”

According to Fraser, some photos, videos, even political posts and rants could be seen as unprofessional by an employer, lessening your chances of getting an interview.

“Just generally anything that is polarizing you should try to keep off your social media pages,” Fraser explains.

But it’s something Watson says isn’t fair.

“They are going to assume whatever they are going to assume and it does cause a bias.  I don’t want people to find out info about me that I didn’t share with them or have them misconstrue or make judgments.”

“Is it actually fair that you are being judged by what you post,” says Rosa-Stone, “Probably not but it is reality.”

Rosa-Stone says reps at Worksource Oregon always advise job seekers to think twice about what they should display online.

Consider enabling privacy settings.  You choose what only your friends and family see and what you don’t mind publicly.

Think about making separate personal and professional pages.

Google yourself it will give you an idea of what photos, videos, and other info employers see when they search your name online.

“You just want to keep it very clean, your image online,” emphasizes Fraser.

For now Watson says she’s stepping away from Facebook, dedicating her spare time to job hunting and connecting with her friends and family in person instead of online.

“I think I’m going to have to go through my Facebook and just change it.”

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