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Job seekers warned about political social media usage

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 12:30 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - More than 10 percent of people in Lucas County were unemployed in August 2020, according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. That’s two points higher than the U.S. average (8.5%) the same month.

From the presidential election to COVID-19 and mask-wearing, to the Black Lives Matter Movement, all at the forefront of social media conversations, employment specialists are encouraging candidates to think before they post.

“Right now it’s very competitive, the market’s huge," says Amber Goodin, an employment specialist at Express Employment Solutions in Toledo. “If you do apply to a job they’re going to search you. They’re going to look on your Facebook, they’re going to look on your LinkedIn.”

Goodin and her colleague Katie Myers work with job seekers and clients hiring for open positions every day. They say nowadays, managers looking through resumes are also browsing a candidate’s social media profiles.

“If they are putting too much of their personal opinion out there, and it does conflict with maybe that owner or that employer’s views, that could adhere from them from getting the position," explains Myers.

Especially during a heated election year, while the country is rising out of a global pandemic, local job seekers we talked to say Facebook can be a warzone.

“People post extremely political ideas or just really radical posts," says Dillon Sickels, a student at the University of Toledo whose been looking for contract work. Sickels says he’s created new social media pages and deleted old content to build a better online brand. “They’re going to search you on all of your pages because they can."

Office job-seeker Ashley Simon says “I keep my Facebook as friendly as possible because I know there is a lot of unfriendly stuff out there right now.”

While it may be tempting, they’re refraining from going into battle while trying to find their next gig. In the long run, it may be one more way to get back to work.

Zain Omair, who is looking for a job in sports video production, said it best. “It’s more worth it to have a job than to argue with a family member or someone on Facebook."

Another tip given by employment agents and others looking for work is to double-check your privacy settings on your Facebook, Twitter, and other profiles before applying to jobs. That way, if there is anything that may be questionable to an employer on your profile, it’s less likely to appear to people outside of your approved followers or friends list.

Copyright 2020 WTVG. All rights reserved.

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