Professionalism and your personal social media
Keeping active on social media is a great way to keep up to date with friends. It can be a wonderful source of educational information and sharing of best practices. Where would we be without it? Since 2004 Facebook has been a lifeline, especially for those teachers living overseas. As we have connected with other educators and then moved on, it has kept our lives entwined, ‘virtually’ at least.
As we know, there is a downside. Not only do you share your thoughts, photos, and special events with your friends, but you also share them with the whole world (potentially).
In recent years it has become common practice for employers to track your social media. While we haven’t actually asked schools themselves, it is commonly accepted that they review a candidate’s internet footprint as soon as they have identified their interest in a candidate. This is a potential risk area for a school, and it is in their best interest to withhold a job offer if anything indicates a red flag.
What do employers look for?
All schools are expected to demonstrate due diligence regarding child protection. Reviewing social media is one component of the review. Schools need to know if a candidate’s values and character align with theirs. Recruiters study the type of posts you make on social media, and the language you use. They want to get to know the values you display and the maturity and judgment you show publically.
Steps you can take to present yourself professionally
- Google yourself. You may be surprised at what you find!
- Get a friend of a friend to look you up online and see what they find. Sometimes different computers and search engines show different results.
- Check if you’re in content posted by others and if it looks dodgy, ask them to remove it or un-tag you.
- Tighten your privacy settings so that potential employers can’t see your social media.
- Delete risky accounts for good measure.
No matter what you think about the rights of employers to access this information as a screening tool, it happens. Protect yourself and your future job.