JOANNE O'RIORDAN: Employers: don't judge me on my social media life

RECENTLY on a TV show I was watching the point was made about employers checking up on potential employees by scouring their Twitter or Facebook profile.

To be honest, this sounds frankly insane to me.

Social media, as we know, is put under a lot of scrutiny today, be it bullying, weirdos having pictures of kids, and so on. As an avid user of social media, mainly the old Twitter, (and I’m occasionally tagged in a few pictures on Facebook), I must say I was quite shocked.

Obviously I know that once something is on the internet it’s on there for good and people who wanted to check up on me can, just by Googling my name. It’s a known fact that people these days get information by looking up someone on Facebook. Recently, I was debating with someone about a person’s relation and I decided to check them out on Facebook.

But is it really useful for employers to go through a person’s profile? Looking at a person’s profile doesn’t exactly give you an indication of their working performance. If I had loads of pictures of me out and about with friends, it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be a capable worker. It just means I know how to go out and have a good time. Also, if someone had some negative status, it doesn’t reflect their true personality. There are times on Twitter where I have a rant about teenage things but that doesn’t mean I would be difficult to work with.

I also believe it is a serious invasion of privacy. I know if you put the stuff up there in the first place you are looking for people to see it, but still, when I put up a status I don’t mentally say ‘maybe the CEO of Google will see this when I apply for a job’.

It’s utter rubbish that people are their true selves on Facebook. Of course, I’m super careful on social media sites, but still it’s like my own diary (that’s weirdly public). If people follow me on Twitter and Facebook they see my true feelings and everything, but I still believe the employers should not look at my personal page.

First impressions are the most important thing and once they see pictures of you on a night out, or ranting about something, it’s going to give a poor first impression. I know they can easily be removed, but I believe that work life and personal life should be separate. I don’t believe in bringing my personal life into my work life and vice versa. Once I’m a good worker, I satisfy my employer that anything I do outside is my business and my business alone.


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