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Your Social Media Accounts: Is a Social Media audit the modern CV?

Ciaran Foster // 04th November 2018

Intern-al Issues is a fortnightly blog written by our Intern Ciaran that looks at the latest issues and trends in digital marketing. Enjoy!

Lately I’ve been thinking about the public social media audits that some people do when applying for a new job.

In a social media-saturated society, can people’s public social media be the best judge of character we can get?

A donut shop employee and old friend of mine (should that be in the reverse order?) once told me that when people came into his store and handed a CV to his manager, she would recycle the paper as soon as they had left. Then she would scroll through their social media, using it as the basis of her decision on whether to give the applicant a job.

Many users complete a frequent Facebook, Instagram etc. inspection, to make sure all their content is looking tip-top, and paints them in a positive light. This is understandable. As demonstrated by the donut store manager, our social media is our online face, and the best, fastest, most convenient way that people can obtain information about us.

Although this is nothing to be intimidated by, it’s important to always be aware of the information you’re putting online. Take Facebook for example. Under settings, there is a link for `Your Facebook Information’, which is a fairly self-explanatory link, and can assist you in tracking your digital footprint on the site.

Several months ago, notable American film director James Gunn was fired by Disney due to inappropriate tweets that resurfaced online. Some of the tweets date back to as early as 2009, yet the fallout has occurred only recently.

Just this week, a Victorian Greens candidate quit over Facebook posts that came back to haunt her. The Upper House candidate made inappropriate comments in a group several years ago, and now the posts have been uncovered she has been forced to resign.

As more and more instances of this crop up on the news, employers must surely be incorporating social media into their vetting processes. Because an old negative social media post reflects poorly not just on an employee, but on the company that hires them as well.

The point is, we all have social media footprints, and it is important for us all to do frequent audits of our online history. Because there are lessons to be learned from the people I have mentioned. You don’t want to be in the job of your dreams, only to be fired due to something you posted online years ago.

To quote Blade Runner (as I try to whenever I can) “All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain.” Except your past social media posts will not be lost like tears in rain. They will remain until you remove them.

Auditing people for jobs, based on their social media is the way of the future. Backtrack and minimise your social media footprint, and do so regularly. Don’t take the chance of allowing a moment in your past to impact your future.

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Ciaran Foster

Ciaran is a Media and Communications student from Perth. He has a passion for anything film or sports related, or both (Shaolin Soccer).

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