BLOG: Social Media Presence
We have instant access to information at any hour of the day, in any place in the world, as long as we have an Internet connection.
News stories break in a matter of seconds, we can keep tabs on the lives of people we haven’t spoken to in years and we can contact friends and family on the other side of the world. Instantly.
It’s an amazing thing, social media, but like everything it’s what you do with it that counts!
With regards to our personal profiles, it is extremely important that we are careful about how we portray ourselves, especially in professional terms. Employers, both current and prospective, check our social media presence and we are judged by the content we post.
Forget about how this is an invasion of your privacy and how this violates the human right to communicate freely. It’s the done thing now, it is legal and you can bet that your social media profiles are being well and truly scrutinised.
Although posting about burning your ex’s house down or setting your profile picture to yourself facedown in a bar might appear hilarious and get you a few likes, it probably won’t benefit your job prospects.
Once in employment, we are a walking, talking reflection of the company we work for. At some point, we’ve all been involved in conversations like this…
“Oh my did you see what so and so was at last night? You know who I mean, he/she works for so and so.”
To avoid falling into the social media pit falls, here are a few tips to make social media BENEFIT your career prospects, rather than hinder them.
Set up LinkedIn
Yes it can be tedious, yes finding the perfect photo is hard but it’s so helpful. You can link directly with established people in your field, break the ice with a company you want to work for, and look for jobs you probably wouldn’t hear about anywhere else. In essence LinkedIn is your online CV. Check out our post on why LinkedIn is so important.
Master your Privacy settings
There is no need to have everything on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram set as public. Even if you are careful about what you post, you need to manage what people who haven’t added or followed you can see.
What you get up to in your spare time is YOUR business and nobody else’s. However once you post it on such a public platform it becomes everybody else’s business. Nobody wants to hire somebody who swears like a sailor and makes underwear selfies public property!
Don’t air your dirty laundry on-line
If you have a problem with somebody, don’t post a cryptic status or tweet, sort it out in person and keep personal things personal.
To employers, a timeline full of sly remarks and underhanded comments shows that you aren’t mature enough to leave any issues at the office door.
Keep work related posts kosher
Post about how you love your job, feel free to declare how knackered you are after a busy week or stressful day. By all means, share photos of an exciting event that you were able to attend because of work.
DO NOT however, go on a full scale rant about how you hate your place of work, how much you despise your co workers and discuss how your boss is a fire breathing maniac that makes Miranda Priestly look like a fluffy kitten.
You can bet somebody will see it and 9 times out of 10, it will come back to bite you, at the very least you will probably have hurt somebody’s feelings, worst case scenario, you could be disciplined or lose your job!
Social Media is a fantastic invention, use it to your advantage and as a tool to further your career, don’t let it be the reason you fail to succeed.
For further advice on keeping your Social Media profile healthy, check out our Social Media Health Check post.