If you spend a lot of time on social media and are job searching, you should know that there is one behaviour that makes you appear to be less likeable, less successful, and more insecure – all factors that can turn off an employer.
Can you guess what that behaviour is? You probably can, but I’ll tell you: it’s posting a lot of selfies. So, if you do that, you might want to stop.
Selfies vs. “posies”
The findings are from a new study by psychologists at Washington State University in which researchers conducted a an experiment with hundreds of Instagram users to determine whether certain types of posts cause people to make snap judgements about the user’s personality.
They found that that people who post a lot of selfies are “almost uniformly viewed as less likeable, less successful, more insecure and less open to new experiences than people who share more posed photos taken by someone else. Basically, “selfie versus posie.”
So, it’s not necessarily a problem with posting too many pictures of yourself but a problem with who is taking them.
People really don’t like selfie takers
I had never heard the term “posie,” but the research found that people who posted more of them were judged to be “relatively higher in self‑esteem, more adventurous, less lonely, more outgoing, more dependable, more successful and having the potential for being a good friend while the reverse was true for students with a greater number of selfies on their feed.”
Personality ratings for selfies designed to highlight physical appearance, such as flexing in a mirror, were particularly negative.
Chris Barry, WSU professor of psychology and lead author of the study said in a statement, “Even when two feeds had similar content, such as depictions of achievement or travel, feelings about the person who posted selfies were negative and feelings about the person who posted posies were positive.
It shows there are certain visual cues, independent of context, that elicit either a positive or negative response on social media.”
Previous research has found that 26% of employers would pass on a candidate if they saw signs of “vanity,” such as too many selfies, in their social media pages. And that “excessive use of social media, in particular the posting of images and selfies, is associated with a subsequent increase in narcissism by an average of 25 percent.”
There is also a recent story of an employer who was caught on recording discussing a candidate’s social media. The employer was heard saying that she had “really liked” the candidate’s resume, but that she was less interested in hiring her after looking at her social media. “I don’t like her anymore,” she can be heard saying, “She’s taking selfies all the time.”
The moral of the story is that you should probably be careful of how many selfies you post.