10 things you NEVER post on social media when you work at a hotel
Whether you intend to look for a new hotel job in the future or just to keep the one you have, you need to keep your online presence clean. According to one survey of employers regarding social media, 60 percent regularly use social networking sites to research job candidates. Forty-one percent even use them to keep taps on current employees—and you can bet they’re all paying close attention to what they find. While 48 percent have unearthed status updates, posts or tweets that caused them to reject job candidates, 26 percent have reprimanded or terminated a current employee due to unsavory content such as that listed below.
1. Photos or videos you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see
Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information was cited by 46 percent of employers as a reason to reject a job seeker. Because “provocative” and “inappropriate” are broad terms open to interpretation, we suggest erring on the side of caution whether you’re tempted to Instagram a post-shower selfie or upload a video of yourself twerking at a club. If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, it definitely doesn’t belong online where your current or potential future employer may find it.
2. Photos or videos that could damage the hotel’s reputation
Who can forget the viral photo of a Taco Bell worker urinating on a plate of nachos? Few things are quicker to turn an employer against you than evidence that you care so little about the hotel’s reputation that you’re willing to irreparably damage it. Never post photos or videos of anything that shines a negative light on your place of employment, whether it’s truthful (such as a mess left by an inconsiderate hotel guest) or mischievous (a prank played on a coworker).
3. Photos or posts about drinking or drug use
Forty-three percent of employers will reject job candidates if they find information about drinking or drug use on their social media pages. While it might actually be beneficial to discuss alcoholic beverages in a professional way if you’re employed as a bartender, bar manager, sommelier or other such role, avoid party posts that promote dangerous and irresponsible drinking or the use of illegal drugs.
4. Prejudiced or discriminatory comments
There are some opinions that you are better off keeping to yourself or only debating in a private setting, which social media definitely is not. A third of employers (33 percent) say they will reject job candidates who make discriminatory comments related to race, religion or gender online. Current employees should beware as well, as such comments often violate the workplace’s code of ethics.
5. Negative comments about your employer, supervisor or coworkers
We all have bad days, but it’s important to keep them offline. Whether you’re mad at your supervisor or got in a disagreement with a co-worker, social media is not the place for an angry rant to blow off steam. Bad-mouthing previous companies or fellow employees are turnoffs for 31 percent of employers.
6. Anything that could be considered confidential information
As an employee, you’re expected to keep certain information pertaining to your job and employer confidential. For example, if you’ve learned that your hotel is being bought by a larger organization but it hasn’t been announced publicly yet, don’t post that information online. The same goes for proprietary processes and procedures you may be privy to because of your position. When in doubt, ask your supervisor what you can and cannot share with others.
7. Anything that could be considered illegal
Let’s say you’re a bartender in a hotel lounge. Your younger brother is home from college, so you post an invitation to come in for a few drinks on his Facebook page and tell him to bring his friends. Sounds harmless. However, they’re all under age. You’ve basically just indicated in a public forum that you intend to break the law.
8. Derogatory comments about hotel guests
There are many stories of waiters and waitresses who’ve lost their jobs because they made negative or derogatory comments about restaurant guests online. Whether a guest was simply rude and inconsiderate or behaved in a terribly reprehensible way, it’s better to vent to friends in person or relay the situation to your employer in a formal matter rather than broadcasting your displeasure on the Internet. Even if you’re careful with social media privacy settings, you cannot prevent friends from sharing your posts on other mediums (such as Reddit), where they may possibly go viral.
9. Comments that could be construed as threatening or harassing
Most hotels have employee policies that include prohibiting threatening or harassing behavior. Social media posts that may be interpreted by hotel guests, coworkers or supervisors as such are likely to cost you your job and may even lead to legal action against you.
10. Details about your job search
While social media is a valuable tool for networking and often used by recruiters to source candidates, it’s best to keep any mention of a job search off of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even LinkedIn until you have informed your employer that you’re seeking new opportunities. Again, privacy settings are not infallible and even if you’ve been very careful, and are not “friends” or “followed” by your supervisor or employer, another co-worker could inadvertently mention what he or she saw in conversation and land you in hot water.
10. ANYTHING on company time
Unless the hotel you work for has a policy which allows for social media usage while on the clock, it’s always advisable to avoid making posts of any kind (or even “liking” other’s posts) during work hours.