6 giant social media mistakes hospitality job seekers make
If you think your high school boyfriend, college girlfriend and that creepy cousin you met at the last family reunion are the only people snooping around your social media accounts, we’ve got a secret for you. Chances are good your future hospitality employer is as well. In fact, according to a recent survey by one career-development website, 52 percent regularly scope out applicants’ Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media profiles at some point during the hiring process.
They aren’t always looking for negatives—60 percent merely want to find details that confirm a candidate has the qualifications necessary for the job. Still, if they stumble across one of these giant mistakes, it could hurt you.
1. Unprofessional photos
It’s a given that your LinkedIn profile should include a professional photo taken in a suitable location and in which you’re wearing appropriate attire. But what about your Facebook page or your Instagram profile? Do you need to nix the pics of that giant margarita you had on the beach or your less than politically correct Halloween costume? If you’re job searching, the answer is yes.
2. Off-color language
You may swear like a sailor on your days off—that’s your business. But keep the curse words off your social media profiles if you want any employer to believe you can maintain the courteous, professional behavior hospitality jobs require. The same goes for strong political views and controversial topics. You don’t want to alienate or offend hotel or restaurant hiring managers with differing opinions.
3. Job-Related Venting
Ranting on Facebook or another social media network about how you didn’t get a raise last year, your boss blamed you for something that wasn’t your fault, your coworker drives you crazy, or you just had to deal with the worst customer in the world isn’t going to win you points with hospitality hiring managers. In fact, any indication that you’re willing to bad-mouth past or current employers will be taken as a sign that you’ll do so again in the future—and no hotel or restaurant wants that.
4. Careless Grammar and Spelling
Relegate the text speak to your cell phone, if you must use it. Any post you make on your social media networks—whether about the awesome burger place you just discovered or your ongoing job search—should be clearly worded and grammatically correct. Keep the emoji to a minimum and proofread before sharing.
5. Evidence of Poor Character
What constitutes poor character for one person may not do so for another. However, you can bet any hospitality employer is going to take posts about how you called in sick so you could go skiing or behaved passive-aggressively to punish your boss as a definite strike against you.
6. Assuming Employers Can’t See Your Posts
You can set your Facebook privacy settings to “Friends” and change your Instagram account to “Private” with the touch of a button. But this will only protect you so far as you are careful about accepting new connections. In the survey mentioned earlier, 35 percent of employers have requested to “be a friend” or to “follow” candidates who have private accounts. Only 20 percent report being denied those permissions. This means there are a lot of job seekers out there indiscriminately accepting new connections and—potentially—putting their chances of employment at risk.