Recently the National Labor Relations Board determined that a company’s employee cannot be fired for criticizing the company in social media such as Facebook. However, this important decision supporting freedom of speech does not extend to job candidates.
Social media can be a great tool for promoting your talents and skills. I regularly help clients create a “brand” for themselves by making their LinkedIn and Facebook presence consistent with their professional resume. By the same token, an unprofessional online presence can undermine your entire job search.
When you are seeking employment, be very careful about using social media to criticize your former company; the companies where you are applying; or the industry in which you want to work. Whether your forum is Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or your own blog, do not bemoan your lack of work or rant about annoying interviewers. Any negative attitude is likely to prejudice future employers against you.
Do not discuss or show pictures online that reveal job or family difficulties, personality conflicts, inappropriate behavior or any other personal matter while you are job seeking. Way back in 2006, a CBS News Correspondent revealed that employers looked at online profiles when evaluating a candidate and used those profiles to determine whether they would hire. They still do.