Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What Your Facebook Post Says About You

It is so fun to post a lighthearted post on my Facebook or Twitter page. Cheers, everyone, Thank Goodness it is Friday, and here's what I'm drinking tonight.  Luckily, that's as far as the debauchery goes on my social media sites.  But some folks don't filter their posts, putting up their worst party photos, trash talking people they don't like, or posting revealing photos of themselves.  Beware, job seekers, what you post could say more about you and your personality traits than you think.  

Recently a group of researchers at the Department of Psychology at North Carolina State University published their research on how personality traits of job applicants are reflected on social media posts.  This research was nicely summarized in Aaron Elliot's post, Traits of Job Applicants on Social Media Detrimental to Career on the Social Media Today site.  

The researchers studied the links between online behaviors and the personality characteristics of job applicants.  The research focused on two main posting types:  badmouthing behavior (criticizing superiors and peers) and those involving references to alcohol and drug use.  These posting types are often viewed by hiring managers as red flags for potential employees.  These posts were then correlated to the poster's five personality traits:  agreeableness, extraversion, emotional stability, conscientiousness and openness to experience.  

Using this information, the research found that people with the traits of agreeableness and conscientiousness were very unlikely to badmouth others on their posts.  And there was no true connection found between a person's substance use postings and their conscientiousness traits.  They did find that extroverts are more likely to post topics about substance use on social media.  Employers often quickly dismiss candidates with this tendency, possibly eliminating a lot of extroverts from the talent pool.  

Phew, so it is okay to post what I'm toasting with this weekend, as long as I don't badmouth anyone while I'm doing it!  While employers learn what to look for on social media, I encourage you to keep your postings filtered to show off your best personality traits.