Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google Plus, LinkedIn and countless other social networking sites; they are great aren’t they? These sites have become a part of many people’s day to day life for fun, for work, for networking, for promoting, for photo and video sharing – and, let’s face it, for procrastinating. Sometimes, when we’re clicking and scrolling our way through tweets and updates, we know very well there is lots of other more useful stuff we could be getting on with.

These days, we tend to take all the different social media outlets for granted, whichever way we are making use of them, and really, it can be difficult to imagine life without it, sometimes. Whether for business use or personal use, social media is here to stay. Yes, it will certainly evolve – Facebook has changed beyond recognition since it was launched over ten years ago – and some of the smaller, less well known social media outlets may get left behind and disappear into the online wilderness as they struggle to keep up play with the big boys, but social media is not going away.

So, why are we thinking about social networking sites and how do they relate to part time work opportunities?

Social Networking Means You Could Be Visible To Everyone

Yes, great isn’t it? The very nature of social networking is the whole thing about being out there, visible for all to see. This is all good fun when you are sharing party photos and holiday videos with friends and writing silly comments back and forth between yourself and your friends.

And, as many of us well know, some social media outlets mean you don’t necessarily have to be friends with someone, or be followed by someone, for them to be able to see what you are musing about online on any given day. Again, all good fun if you’re musing about harmless random life events…

But bear something in mind. If you are set up on these sites so that everyone can see you, your potential new part time employers can also see you. Is everything you’ve thrown at your personal profiles online suitable for the eyes of possible bosses at your part time job. Is it suitable for new workmates, as well, for that matter? At least until you make new friends in your part time work, you might not want to launch straight in there, showing them every bit of our personal life.

Not just for full time jobs and careers but for part time jobs, too, if you go for an interview and you really impress the panel, but it is close between you and another candidate, the firm could well search your name on Google and view your online pages. All of a sudden, depending on what you’ve decided to share on social media, being public and being out there, might not be such a great idea for you. Are you currently looking for part time jobs? Do you use social media? If so, read on.

How Social Networking Sites Can Catch You Out When Applying For Part Time Jobs

The first thing you need to bear in mind is that you need to take part time work applications seriously. They are not a second best to full time jobs and you need to make all the same preparations you would do for a full time job. Your potential future boss has invested a lot of time and money in the recruitment process and they need to be confident in the fact that they are employing an honest, hard-working person, no matter how many hours a week you want to work.

So, what does your online profile tell potential part time employers about you and is this ‘online you’ different to the person who is applying for part time jobs? When was the last time you really had a good look through your Facebook profile or previous tweets? Most of us have different ‘work heads’ to ‘party heads,’ for example, and by looking at your online presence, your potential employer will usually be happy to see, via your online presence, that you are a friendly, confident person who loves to get out and about and socialise with friends. That’s day to day life, after all. But there could be some instances where your happy go lucky sharing of information can trip you up when it comes to applying for part time jobs.

When Social Media Can Become Your Foe Rather Than Your Friend

Let’s consider just one scenario where social networking sites can become your foe as oppose to your friend. It’s not difficult to think of other scenarios, too, once you realise the type of things you might be putting on these sites.

The Scenario

Let’s say you arrange with friends to go out for the day. Everyone’s going to be there – maybe a few friends you haven’t seen for some time – and you talk about it online and make final arrangements through Facebook.

Except, last week, you applied for a part time job that you really liked the look of. You took your time over your application and that care has paid off because you then get invited for an interview. Great. You’re so happy…and then you see the time and date of the interview. Right at the time you will be enjoying a day out with friends. Friends you’ve not seen for a while. It’s an important day out for you and you’ve been looking forward to it for so long, but this part time work is also important for you, too. It could be a good stepping stone in your career and you could do with the extra cash.

After a bit of thinking, you decide the best of both worlds is the best option and you phone the company to see if there is any way they can rearrange the interview date for you because you have a hospital appointment on that day. The company is obliging and honours your appointment and you reschedule your interview. Brilliant. Who will ever know any different? Of course, you’re not going to the hospital, but it’s still an important day so what harm is a little white lies going to do?

A few years ago, perhaps nobody would have ever known any different but social media means all that has changed.

When the day comes, you go out to meet your friends and you don’t even give your part time job application a second thought. Why would you? You’re having fun and taking photos and short videos as a memento of your time and, without giving that part time job application a second thought, you post your photos and videos online. And while we’ve mentioned Facebook a lot, these days, there are lots of other places to post, too. Maybe you’ve even got your accounts linked up so that you can post simultaneously to them. All of a sudden, your photos and videos are there on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram so that everyone can see what a great time you’re having.

The Consequences

Now put yourself in the head of your potential part time employer if they happen to stumble across this on Facebook or other social networking sites. All your plans are there, your photographs, your videos, your check ins – with dates and times – for all to see. You have told this company you were at the hospital all day.

Whenever a company has part time job vacancies, naturally, they are looking for part time staff who are honest, hard-working and who are committed to the company. As far as this company is concerned, you have certainly demonstrated that you have not been honest with them, you have demonstrated that you are not committed to the company or the role (otherwise you would have gone to the interview, wouldn’t you) and you have also given the impression that you are not hard-working because you would much rather go and have fun with friends instead.

A few careless online postings to your social media accounts and you have just blown your chances of landing that part time job that could have really opened doors for you in the future or kept your head above water financially.

Part Time Work And Social Media – What you can do

It’s all about common sense really. If you are looking for part time work or full time work, before you even start applying for jobs, go through all your online profiles and think about what they say about you. You don’t have to be a hermit. As we said above, companies and employers like to know their part time staff are out there enjoying life rather than being a couch potato…but you might want to remove or edit a few things.

But I don’t want to delete photos and posts

The good news is, you don’t have to. Social media has been around long enough now for us all to know there are various privacy settings we can use so that certain parts of our private lives remain between friends. You are in control of what people can see and know about you. If you have been one of those people who have ignored those occasional Facebook ‘we have updated our privacy policy’ pop ups (let’s face it, lots of us are guilty of that one), now is the time to familiarise yourself with how much control you have over your accounts and what you need to do to change who can see your posts.

Are you visible to the whole world?

Change your privacy settings. Are you visible to the whole world (and therefore to the companies you applied for casual work with) or just to friends and family? Many people are unaware of who can see what on their profiles and inadvertently post updates, either assuming all the world can see them or only friends can see them.

Make social media work for you

If you’re now thinking social media sites are more your enemy than your friend, they don’t have to be. You can make social media work for you with just a little bit of thought before you hit the publish button. For both part time jobs and full time jobs social media sites can be used to your advantage.

Especially on Facebook, you can have your whole profile private and you can even control who sees each individual post within your profile – you can even share to just one person if that’s what you want to do. And that doesn’t mean you are cut off from the world of looking for jobs or making yourself known online. Making social media work for you is simple.

  • Take a look around and join targeted groups where you can network with professionals and other job seekers who might have a background in the type of part time jobs you are interested in. If you are networking well and giving a good impression of yourself, you never know who you might come across in job interviews. It could be someone you know online or it could be someone to whom you have been recommended.
  • Like relevant pages on Facebook and follow relevant people and companies on Twitter and other social networking sites. For example, just to get you started, as well as the advice on these pages and throughout the site, like UK Part Time Jobs on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Not only will you see part time job vacancies but you will also get lots of other tips and information about casual work and part time careers.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to sit down and go through your online profiles so that you can start applying for part time work safe in the knowledge that you are not going to get caught out. And, if you do impress your potential employers enough to be short-listed for an interview, give yourself a better chance of landing your ideal part time job by reading our tips about how to shine in part time job interviews.