Whining Online Can Affect Your Hireability

No ComplainingYes, I know it feels good venting about your boss, your customers, or your co-workers on Facebook or Twitter. I’ve talked before about how venting really isn’t as healthy as we may think, but there’s another really good reason not to be so eager to share your discontent about your work situation with a few hundred “friends”: Recruiters and those considering hiring you use everything available to them to investigate your suitability, including what you post on social media. (Your privacy settings may or may not protect you, but it’s wise to assume if it’s online, anyone may see anything.)

This is nothing new. I’ve talked before about social media blunders that can keep you from being hired. But even if you don’t talk about work at all, the tone of what you write can be telling. Recruiting specialist Jeff Lipschultz makes an excellent case for this in “The Impact of Social Media on Recruiters and Your Next Employer.”  Lipschultz suggests we make a conscious effort to keep the majority of our social media posts positive in tone.

Try this exercise if you’re on Facebook or Twitter: Go to your last 10 or 15 status messages or Tweets, and rate them as positive, neutral, or negative in tone. Are you a Debbie Downer? Are you using social media to air your grievances when you should be punching a pillow or writing in a private journal?

If you find a good scrubbing is in order, you can find out how to do so in Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and Google+ here.

How is your tone online? Did you try the exercise? If so, what did you find? Leave us a comment!

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