Generation Y / Managing People / Sell Yourself


One reason you’re not getting that promotion.

That Facebook photo someone took of you passed out in a compromising position last Saturday night could be the reason you’re not in line for that promotion any more.

As applicants are being warned it is now standard practice for their social media profile to be checked when it comes to assessing their suitability for jobs, the same goes for your employer when considering you for a potential promotion.

Your employer will be looking at your online presence, although at different stages in the process. If you’re a manager, and considering one of your team to take the next step up then look at their social media presence. Never before has it been so easy to access invaluable information based on a potential candidate’s behaviour.

A current student Emily*, who has both LinkedIn & Facebook accounts, successfully applied for an traineeship recently at a Travel & Tourism company. She told us that at orientation, they sat us all down and said “ok, we’ve seen many people not get jobs, miss out on jobs, miss out on promotions, been told the clients don’t want to work with them simply because they haven’t put their social media profile (Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter), to private”

People go out on a  Friday night, have a couple of relaxing drinks, put a couple of photos up and the employees have seen it, it will potentially hold you back from your promotion.

Party Photo 2 the training establishment i24carat

Emily checked her setting, and changed them to private, that day. Phew!!

It is not only private companies taking a close look at what you are doing online.

We know for a fact that government departments do it as well. It’s publicly available information, which most people tend to not fully understand, so technically you don’t need a law to gather and harvest that information.

That previously private information is now readily available in what is a competitive and overcrowded market place.

We’re entering a period for the first time in history where there’s four generations in the workforce at the same time with the gen z, gen y, gen x and baby boomers. It is more than acceptable for someone to profile you on social media, and the best place for business is LinkedIn, but when we want to see if you’re the right personal fit for the company/job we trawl on Facebook. It really is a culture-based assessment as opposed to a skills or personality-based assessment.

The impact of those photos and posts on social media should not be underestimated.

There could be a panel that will make the decision on your promotion. As you move up the chain, the decision making process is more involved and more difficult to secure.

Think about if the role you’re going for is a customer-facing role in Sales & Marketing, then it’s important to portray yourself in a professional manner with your online profile. It’s not all about what your resume says, it’s what the whole package is saying.

Companies spend so much money building their brands and reputation. They want the right people in the roles so they don’t detract from their brand. Companies expect people to be socially aware from a young age but you don’t need to publicise it, beyond your group of friends online, because it just shows a lack of awareness of the image you want to create.

Show us you’re sociable in person, as well as online, but show us what you want ‘The Panel’ to see. Don’t show us the end of the night joke.Party Photo 3 the training establishment i24carat

*Emily is not her real name.