2018 wasn't the best year for Facebook.
Few of us will be as glad to wave goodbye to last year than Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook had a stinker of a year. Here's why:
Facebook had their worst day ever.
As well as one of the worst quarters ever.
Let's not forget their worst hack ever.
They've been losing users to their arch nemesis Google.
Got caught sharing 87 million people's data.
Apart from that, it was a good year!
Oh no, wait. Their stock price also fell.
But despite committing all the data crimes, capturing Android users' call history or turning on your front facing camera (yes, if you install FB Messenger, they put this in the Ts&Cs that you accepted), Facebook is still the most popular social media site.
1.49 billion people log onto Facebook every day, almost 20% of the world. Wow.
How does this relate to the jobs world? Around 70% of employers admit that they check out a candidate’s social media profiles before making the final decision.
Looks like that picture of you being sick into your hands at a music festival, or posting Bob Marley memes “Legalize it, man!”, even making jokes which some people could misinterpret, are all ways to rule yourself out of getting a job.
So imagine you have gone through the hard work of finding the job, perfected your cover letter, passed the interview with flying colours and then, get rejected for a bad post on your Facebook feed from years ago.
Want proof? Here you go:
This woman lost her job for posting a picture that breached employer policy, it wasn't even an embarrassing picture!
A University lecturer got a lucky escape when his posts were deleted by Facebook before his employers could talk to him. Phew, no CV editing for him. Well, until he then re-posted them and was fired shortly after.
Bragging about abusing prisoners at your job isn’t smart, neither is commenting on the post. All three of these prison guards got fired. I'll bet they left that out of their next cover letter!
Pretending you’re too sick to work then browsing Facebook can be risky too, as this migraine faking woman found out. Might make getting a job reference tricky.
So, how do I not lose the job due to Facebook?
Sounds pretty straight forward, don't add work people. Well until Sharon from HR wants to send you that link to an article. Or add that cute guy who you chat to on Skype in the office gets added so you can check out his gym selfies. Plus if you lie and say you don’t have Facebook, people will soon catch you out on that one. Or when someone at the office party goes “Hey, let me add you on Facebook” and you jump out the nearest window, it might raise eyebrows.
If you follow this rule it can be effective, but as you can see, it’s not the easiest.
So you managed to avoid socialising with anyone at your new job for a few weeks, then suddenly you’re called into a meeting. To your horror they have a print out of you and your friends posting a “airport selfie” #Don'tTellMyBossLOL from last month when you called in sick. Yep, sometimes your profile can be seen, friends or not. I strongly suggest making your profile private anyway:
You can do this by going on to Settings > Privacy > Your Activity.
Another option is having a little alter ego account where you can post all your twisted dark fantasies, while keeping your real profile squeaky clean and full of posts about you volunteering at the animal shelter, picking up trash and helping elderly neighbours cross the street. That will keep you off the job boards, right?
Effective, but what's the point of posting personal stuff if it doesn’t reach your personal audience?
Aw, wouldn’t that be nice? If we all just genuinely had really nice, fluffy, respectable social media profiles? Well, they would be a lie. Doesn't matter what industry you work in. Next!
Avoid insults, vulgar statement or bad language when posting, replying or commenting on anything. This sounds super easy until you come across a political imbecile making incorrect claims on a recent news article. The giant FP symbol is shone in the sky outside your window! It’s time! The Facebook Police are needed! Reply to that fool and correct them, it’s your job! Until you end up in a 26 comment thread that’s descended into accusations of fascism, bigotry, racism or just outright “Yo Mama” jokes.
Surely, Facebook isn’t all that bad. Is it?
Well it has its uses.
Your friend who makes jewellery from seashells now has a domain that she can use to kick start her own business. Right on! More power to the new entrepreneur! Fewer small companies, particularly niche market or pop up style business, are using websites and instead favour the mighty thumb that a Facebook page offers.
Genuinely one of the best ways to connect to like minded individuals these days, not just in the working world. Search whatever you want and there will be a bunch of people from all over the world, equally passionate. Want to talk Tony Robbins' Unleash The Power Within? Groups can be a great area for support. Maybe you're looking for a job as a developer? Plenty of groups to showcase your work. Have a hobby of collecting Rare Egyptian Stamps and wanna show them off? You’ve guessed it.
Businesses have actually found it to be quite an effective strategy to post sponsored jobs ads on Facebook and allow people to apply direct. Make of that what you will, but it's happening.
We’ve all done it. Spotted an appealing looking person in the “Suggested Friends” area. Maybe its a cute girl that used to work in Customer Service that you never asked out? Or a dude you met in Malta who’s advertising a kick ass job with relocation package. Maybe they’ve just got good mutual friends with you and you want to reach out and connect. Why bother meeting people? “Add Friend” is much easier.
There’s always the doting parent on Facebook who posts a big complicated rant about the distance between their 6 month old child’s toes, is it normal? What if they’re not symmetrical? Is that why she’s sick? Or won’t sleep? Speaking of which, can you give babies brandy?
Even Google wouldn’t be able to deal with that request. But chances are there will be another mum out there who can reassure the anxious parent.
For those that didn’t know, dopamine is basically the “happy chemical” which effects our mood and feelings of motivation amongst other things. Imagine it like a payoff, we work at something good like exercise, and the brain rewards us with dopamine and we feel good.
However, instant gratification can be a source of dopamine. Like seeing new friend requests, or likes, or puppy pictures, or a reply. Which is why social media is literally “addictive”.
Fine, I’ll just use WhatsApp to message and Instagram to like cat vids?
Don’t think so. Facebook owns those too.
So what’s the answer?
From a job hunting perspective, you’ve 3 realistic options:
1 - Delete Facebook.
If you’re feeling super brave, this can literally give you back an average of 4.5 days of the year. That’s right. Over 100 hours, imagine what else you could do with that time!
2 - Keep it private.
Probably the best all rounder, not too crazy and not too lazy. Stop anyone but your friends seeing your posts so that recruiters or potential employers can’t snoop. Result. Now just be careful with adding new colleagues…
3 - Clean it up.
Finally you could skim through and delete anything that might be considered offensive in your entire news feed. Pretty good option. Although I challenge you to do this without getting distracted. Remember, Facebook’s job is to distract you, and they’re pretty good at it.
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