If you are a person who is searching for a job, have kids who are applying to college or scholarships, athletes who are being offered scholarships; these are critical times of judgement. Strangers have the ability to determine your future by reading who you are on an application or now with the availability of social media, via a quick Google search.
This process makes you pretty vulnerable to criticism, things from even a decade ago could impede your process. Here are some tips if you are preparing for the process, eliminate anything that could be interpreted as negative, these decisions are often times based off of personal opinions and bias is inevitable.
Deactivate your account…many see this as extreme, some even attempt to change their name or create a unique name to avoid this suggestion. You never know who knows one of your friends that will allow access to your page even if you made it difficult to find, a connection can unlock your page.
Delete old tweets, I mean travel back to the inception of your accounts because it will amaze you how many people have the time to research.
Delete images with you holding alcohol or partying a little too hard. Although the images may be years a part, the timeline is not apparent to a pursuer, just a bunch of images with you partying or drinking alcohol.
Social media will tell a prospective employer everything that they cannot legally ask during an interview: age, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and if you have children.
Why would any of these things be negative?
Children…will you be able to dedicate long nights with the obligation of children at home? This is even more significant for women as society often puts the responsibility of childcare on the mother.
Religion…negative stereotypes and the observance of holidays that could take you away from work days could haunt your process. Many of these biases come from ignorance, but they definitely exist.
Marital status…newlyweds may be looking to start a family soon or do you have someone to take care of responsibilities at home allowing you to work late nights.
A job interview is a personality test, people who have made it to the point of an interview have the qualifications for the job, the interview will confirm if you are a good fit for the company.
Unfortunately, human nature has bias, and these affect the interview process.
Someone may take your personal life offensively rather than what it is, your personal life.
Here is a list of illegal questions from the EEOC website:
Questions pertaining to…
· Race, Color, or National Origin.
· Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation.
· Pregnancy status.
· Age or Genetic Information.
· Marital Status or Number of Children.
Does your social media answer all of these?
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