Social media can be a powerful tool in today’s job market. Potential employers use it to learn more about you—your personality and interests. If you use it as a way to showcase your career and accomplishments, it can be very effective in helping you get hired.
Misuse of social media, on the other hand, can prevent you from landing your dream job or cause you to be fired from your current position. Not having a social media presence is unacceptable, so let’s discuss how to manage it appropriately.
Here are four avoidable mistakes that can put a dent in your career.
Provocative photos and posts.
This includes evidence of drinking or drug use, sexually suggestive references, hate speech, offensive language or profanity.
Confidential business information about your prior company.
Even if you don’t use names, online anonymity is increasingly difficult to come by. Many companies have an online policy detailing the limits of your online usage or include a clause in your hiring contract stipulating that you not tarnish the image of your company.
Badmouthing or making fun of your boss/team/colleagues/clients.
Again, even if you didn’t use names, heckling someone online doesn’t reflect highly of your character. Instead, it paints you as negative, undermining, or simply mean.
These can be lies about your qualifications or lies you’ve told in the past to get out of work. It shows a lack of integrity and hints at a potential behavioral pattern.
Here are some tips to make sure your online social media presence is clean and effective.
Think before you post.
Ask yourself if this is something you’d say out loud, in public, without consequences. Would it make someone angry? Would it offend your employer?
Having no social media presence is not an option. It shows potential employers that either you have something to hide or nothing good to show. Show you’re tech-savvy and use social media to build professional relationships, express your creativity and positive personality, and connect with influencers.
Search yourself on Google.
Know what comes up about you and eliminate those inappropriate posts and photos when you can.
Watch for friends tagging you.
Friends can be great inadvertent references about your character or they can be windows into your less-than-admirable behaviors, so be aware when you’re tagged in others’ photos or posts and un-tag yourself if necessary.
Most hiring managers investigate candidates on social media, not necessarily to dig up dirt, but to learn more about you as a person. They don’t want to hire someone who will bring unwanted controversy to the company. They want to see a well-rounded candidate with a variety of interests, so don’t hesitate to show off details about your background, awards you’ve earned, and any recent volunteering you’ve done. You are your online brand—remember that you have the power to control it.
For more information on how to clean up your online media presence, contact us today!