Could social media cost you your job?

It’s true, many companies looking to make an offer of employment to a candidate have 9 times out of 10 taken a peek at the applicant’s social media profiles.

And the fact or the matter is that this widely used practise is completely legal. Regardless of this, many jobseekers fail to realise that social media could cost you your job.

In fact, 51% of college student in the UK still believe that their social media profiles have absolutely no bearing on their employability in the future and this simply isn’t true. Photos of a drunken night out years previously or a negative comment about a work colleague are prone to hand around online and if you look hard enough they can resurface, even if you’ve long forgotten about them.

And that’s not the half of it. Even if your social media profile is squeaky clean when you’re offered a job, making comments that relate to your company, job or work colleagues that can be perceived as discrimination, bullying or in breach of a company’s data can land you in seriously hot water or even cause you to lose your job.

Although there’s an awful lot of grey areas when it comes to social media, work and recruitment, there have been several cases of termination of employment due to discrimination, workplace bullying and data protection that have been proven in court due to evidence taken from an individual’s social media profile.

The law is just beginning to catch up with the legal implications of what’s said, inferred or shared on social media and you can bet that things are going to get even tougher as time goes on.

So, in short, don’t go posting anything on social media that you wouldn’t dare say to someone’s face. Remember, whatever you decide to throw out online stays around for a very long time and can come back to haunt you when you least expect it, so be very cautious on what you put on your social media profiles – especially when it comes to work.