It’s not always top of mind to consider the dangers of social media – but the comments, photos, and the way one portrays themselves on social media could actually have a huge impact on their career.
Although it’s not quite as prevalent in the the transportation industry for employers and recruiters to look into the documented social media history of their potential employees – it does still happen. That being said, there are several things that one should look out for when it comes to keeping their social media presence in check:
Keep Your Profile Private
For many, keeping a private profile is an effective way of maintaining a squeaky clean social media presence. Although this doesn’t make for a completely bulletproof profile – it keeps surface-level snooping at bay and prevents your regular private updates from becoming public knowledge.
To make your Facebook profile private: Select the ‘Settings’ icon (the little gear in the upper right-hand corner) > Select ‘Privacy Settings’ > Select ‘Edit’ to the right of ‘Who can see your future posts?’ and set it to ‘Friends’.
Avoid Using Curse Words and Foul Language
Although this probably sounds motherly – and foul language can be found under every thread, it really is frowned upon in the realm of social media. There will come a time when a commenter eventually regrets the way they’ve publicly spouted off. Although there is a delete option, these things can still be immortalized in the form of a screenshot or engrained in the memory of an employer – if damage control wasn’t done fast enough.
In addition to the fact that foul language can tarnish the reputation of an individual, it can also prevent voices from being heard. A number of pages – CDLLife included – actually ban foul language, and comments containing such content are automatically muted entirely. Many valid and interesting points have been made but gone unheard due to the fact that the comments contained curse words, racist remarks, and crude language.
Don’t Publicly Admit To Wrongdoing
It’s a slippery slope, and all too often drivers admit wrongdoing and incriminating information publicly – even on CDLLife. All too often we see drivers mention that they’ve texted while driving – imagine how quickly a company owner would want to terminate a driver’s employment if they were to stumble across a comment like that. Here’s a few good examples:
Avoid Feuding With Others
Boy is it ever tempting… some people can be total idiots – especially on social media. The Internet has a funny way of making people feel invincible, and tempting individuals into just spouting their uncensored thoughts. Every once in awhile somebody writes something SO incredibly ignorant that a rebuttal seems to be automatically evoked from others. Don’t do it. It’s important for social media users to stop and take a moment to reevaluate whatever comeback they feel compelled to reply with. Be sure that the response is respectful, well-worded, and that what’s been said is going to be a good reflection of character.
If an employer or recruiter notices that an applicant is the root of numerous Internet cat-fights – they might be lead to think that such an individual might not be very easy to work with, if they would be capable taking direction from a dispatcher, etc.
Don’t Badmouth Your Employer
This one seems like it’s pretty common knowledge, but it’s incredibly tempting to just unload the stresses of the day into the little white box that’s innocently asking, “What’s on your mind?” Before a driver spills their guts about an unexpected breakdown, wait time, or an exceptionally inconsiderate dispatcher – they might want to consider the way things like this look from an employer’s viewpoint. If a driver is out shouting from the social media rooftops what a jerk their boss is – they might quickly find themselves on the chopping block. It’s completely okay to say that the day has been rough, or that you’re stuck somewhere for an extra day – but avoid embellishing such a status with curse words or badmouthing the company.
‘Do not bite the hand that feeds you.’
Make Sure Your Photos Are Appropriate
Keeping photos of inappropriate things such as unlawful acts, nudity, and scandalous/unruly behavior OFF of social media is incredibly important. There aren’t many things worse than an employer stumbling upon a photo of a driver or other employee committing an unfortunate, illegal, or inappropriate act. It’s a surefire way for an employee to get themselves into trouble.
Posting incriminating or inappropriate photos aren’t the only way for a driver to get themselves into deep do-do. Another common social media faux pas is to slip up and post a photo of oneself having a good time or messing around when in actuality, the individual was actually supposed to be on the clock, rolling, had called in sick, or whatever the case may be.
Think Before You Speak When Commenting On Public Pages
Remember that when posting on public pages like CDLLife, that what’s being said by our community members isn’t private when it’s on the wall. Comments, replies, and wall posts are visible to the public. CDLLife encourages its community members to be respectful of one another, keep the language relatively clean, and most importantly – to conduct themselves as professionals. – Truckers Rule!