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Career Coach

Social Media: A Job Hunting Wildcard

Published December 12, 2016 1:01 PM by Renee Dahring

You might be surprised what impressions an employer may form about you just by looking at your social media postings. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that your employer (or potential employer) is even looking at your online postings at all.  

Checking social media has become a fairly routine part of the hiring process. It's expected that a job seeker will put only positive attributes on their resume and be on their best behavior during an interview, so hiring managers will turn to social media to fill in the blanks.  

And just because you have a job doesn't mean your employer is not interested in your online activity. Current employees will find their boss might be reading and securitizing online postings for appropriateness as well as potential HIPPA violations. It's fairly easy to be found even if you aren't using your proper name in your profile, so don't think that using an alias will protect your identity. The popular social media sites will find and prompt users to "friend" or "follow" persons with whom you have had email correspondence. This means your boss, or even one of your patients, is likely to stumble upon your social media whether or not they were actively seeking you out. 

What you post to social media tells the world more than you might have intended. NPs and PAs should take care not only with the content of their posts but also the tone. If you use social media as your tool to vent about life's daily frustrations, you might be giving the impression that you are never happy with anything and that all you do is complain. And trust me, no one wants to hire or work with someone who can't ever be pleased. Or worse yet, that constantly gripes on a public forum about their job. 

This political season seems to have also brought out the worst in everyone. I personally have witnessed some perfectly nice folks who have become quite vicious when it comes to the election results. There are a few people that I like personally, but, quite honestly, their self-righteousness on just about every issue is becoming tedious. I understand people are passionate, but they just come across as intolerant. Threatening to "unfriend" or block followers, sometimes even family members, because of political views seems not only a bit extreme but also hurtful. Would you want to see a provider who insinuates that those who voted differently or hold opposing political views are not just wrong but are also bad people? The country is pretty evenly split, so odds are not all your co-workers and patients are on the same team as you. 

And when did it become OK to use the "f-word" in everyday conversation? If you are a NP or PA who uses profanity in a social media post you are engaged in some risky behavior.

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    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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