In the constantly improving world of technology, social networks have become an invaluable source of information for both employers and those seeking jobs. Excelling at your interview may fall second to any blunders your potential employer finds on your social media profiles. Pay close attention to your overall online presence, because it can easily affect your dream job. Meanwhile, here are 10 things you should avoid at all cost when dealing with social media.
10. Always Observe Your Online Platforms Through The Eyes Of An Employer
The main thing to understand here is that your employers are focused on learning more about you so they can gauge how you’d fit in their organisation. They’re not interested in the bad; they’re after the good. That means those photos from the weekend party with your friends are probably going to be fine, unless something is on them that’s over the top.
9. Never Leave Your Profile Incomplete/Picture Blank On Professional Sites
This goes especially for LinkedIn – if you were an employer and you came across something like this, you’d probably assume the person you’re researching couldn’t be bothered to finish up their profile. This demonstrates a lack of professionalism; most employers will assume you don’t have the skills or experience they’re after.
8. Never Ever Post Anything In Anger
…because it WILL come back to haunt you. Seeing how most people post on social networks almost daily, it’s nearly impossible to remember when something happened that caused you to go on an online rant. The same goes for sarcasm – it can easily be misinterpreted and translated out of context. Watch out for these.
7. Don’t Whine About Your Busy Travel Schedule Or How Hectic Your Workdays Are
Why? Well, 1) no one cares; 2) it’s not interesting; 3) it gets really tiresome.
EVERYONE IS BUSY. If indeed you’re traveling frequently, there’s no need to treat it like a chore. It’s the job you chose and what’s more – you’re being paid for it. There are plenty of interesting ways you can add value to your posts that will cause them to engage your followers rather than bore them to death.
6. Stay Away From Talking About “Climbing The Ladder” Or Getting Ahead
If you’re currently employed, your boss or employer might easily assume your intentions are questionable. If you’re making assumptions about your abilities and your future, that’s a red light for any serious employer. They’ll likely ask themselves whether you’re aiming to develop your skills and progress in your career or you’re just in it for the position and title.
5. Never Lie About Your Experience And Qualifications
In addition to being a flat out insult to those who actually have the experience you’re only claiming to have, lying about your qualifications will likely also impact your credibility with friends and colleagues. We’re talking here about people who will be your references. Never forget that the majority of them know your exact level of skills and experience. Lying may cause them to feel uncomfortable to recommend you.
4. Never Say Anything Negative Against A Former/Current Employer
While the latter is pretty self-explanatory, the former is where it gets a bit tricky for most people. The problem with talking negatively about a former employer is it can catch up to you very easily. Just because you’ve moved on doesn’t mean your words or rants are forgotten. This is not a good way to build a professional or trusting relationship with a new employer.
3. Don’t Use Inappropriate Language Or Post Unsuitable Material
Pay attention to the fact that most people nowadays have both personal and business connections on social media. With the exception of chats, refrain from using foul language or posting inappropriate material altogether. This goes especially for keeping track of what your friends are posting about you – including pictures.
2. Never Ever Post Anything That Can Be Viewed As Discriminatory Or Illegal
The same applies for threats or any heated arguments you might feel provoked into entering. Always keep in mind that you’re being watched by a potential employer. Moreover, it’s probably wise to refrain from commenting or posting anything about politics, religion and other sensitive topics. All of the aforementioned can have a devastating effect on your job prospects.
1. Overall – Train Yourself To Just Stop And Think Twice Before You Click “Post”
All the advice in the world can’t help you if you’re in the habit of acting or reacting impulsively when spending time on social networks. This is extremely important, because one careless post and you could jeopardise your future. The best thing to do whenever you’re on social media and are tending to your online presence is to stop and think about what you’re about to post/comment/like/share/whatever. If you pause at all – you’re probably about to make a mistake. Therefore, simply move on.
Blog post by Andy Foster