Like or not, posts you make to your social media are being scrutinized by potential employers as a measure of suitability for a position within that organization. For the most part, potential employers are looking at those social media posts from an experience objective. In other words, do your tweets, linked-in posts, Facebook updates and other posts show that you are familiar with the industry that you are seeking a position in.
Simply put, your social media profile indicates much more than your job experience, it can also show potential employers your dedication to a career path, as well as how seriously you take your interactions with management. For example, if your posts contain a lot of negativity about your current or former employers and peers, that may give the perception that you are difficult to work with.
What's more, posts about wild adventures, parties and brushes with the law may also give the impression that you may not be a reliable employee. Furthermore, highly charged political beliefs posted on social media may indicate to employers that you may not be an ideological fit into the business.
While potential employers are not looking to violate any constitutional rights or stifle freedom of speech, they are potentially critiquing what you post and how you post it to as part of their vetting process. None the less, the potential that social media has to detract from your job search can be reversed simply by turning social media into another source for your achievements. In other words, create posts that highlight your knowledge, as well as your achievements in the industry you are pursuing a career in. Twitter and Instagram prove to be excellent outlets for those type of posts.
Yet, there are many other things that can be done to improve your suitability for a position via social media. For example, LinkedIn offers the ability to create blog posts and other articles, in which you can make observations about the industry you are interested in. What's more, you can also write about educational issues, as well as highlight thought leadership articles and link to those via social media posts.
As far as Facebook goes, the lines are a little blurred as to what appropriate posts are, especially since Facebook is meant more for social interaction. However, Facebook offers all sorts of privacy controls, which allows you to make only certain information available to certain “friends", allowing you to block photos, posts and other elements from your time line. For those on the job hunt, it makes a lot of sense to leverage those controls to keep what should only be shared among family and friends from outsiders, and not HR departments, businesses and other external entities.
Successfully transforming social media into a creator of opportunity means taking a long, hard look at what you have posted, what you have liked, and what you have written. What's more, you need to look at those elements through the lens of a potential employer and adjust the focus as necessary.