How Social Media Can Damage Your Career

It’s crucial to showcase professionalism and as technology evolves, it’s increasingly more important to demonstrate this professionalism on social media as well. This idea of having to monitor yourself on social media has become a hot topic as employers and recruiters are turning to social media to research potential employees. Companies are also using their current staff as brand advocators. For these reasons, it’s crucial that you follow these tips to avoid making any mistake that will hurt a job search or even your career.

Follow the Rules

Social media makes it incredibly easy to search people and find current employees of companies. For this reason, companies are making it a priority to preserve public relations by monitoring their current employees and doing research into future employees to make sure they are professional in-person as well as online. Most companies have guidelines or rules as to how current employees should utilize their personal platforms. Read up on your company’s handbook or research to see if a company you’re applying to has a set of guidelines. Many organizations even have this published on their website.

Set Up Your Profile Appropriately

You have to think about what everyone can see on your profile, even those who aren’t connected with you. When someone searches you, what will they see? On all networks, you can toggle your privacy settings to keep certain things private. However, on those same networks, there are usually a few features that you can’t hide from the public: your profile pictures and cover photos. This is where you have to be cautious as to what photos you choose and what you want representing you.  Don’t opt out of a profile or cover photo either. Not having a photo of yourself only leads to the hiring manager questioning what you have to hide.

Pay Attention to What You Post

Even if you aren’t connected directly with your employer or potential hiring manager, there are still ways for them to see what you do on social media. Because of the way social platforms can connect you with people outside of your circle, it’s important for you to refrain from doing the following:

Never Complain About the People You Work With

Whether it’s a micromanaging boss that’s getting on your nerves or a “dumb” customer/coworker that doesn’t seem to get it, your social media page is no place to showcase your issues with them. It’s too easy for someone to share that post or comment with your employer.

Stop “Oversharing”

You don’t have to post about every single moment of your life, especially when some things should be private. You should also refrain from posting details about a job offer (especially anything negative) because the employer can revoke the offer at any point they feel it necessary.

Watch Your Comments

Posting on another person’s post, in a group, or on a page can also mean trouble for you if you’re not careful. You see this happen all of the time where public figures make tasteless, insensitive or thoughtless comments that lead them to losing their jobs. This can be true for anyone.

Don’t Let Your Past Haunt You

You may have had your social media platforms since high school or college and of course, there will be posts or photos that are either embarrassing or simply inappropriate for an employer to find. Spend some time going through your old posts and delete comments or photos that are simply inappropriate. It may never be permanently deleted from the Internet, but you can at least do this to make it more difficult to find.

Use It to Your Advantage

Once you’ve cleaned up your social presence, make sure you use your platforms to your advantage. Social media has a unique way of helping job seekers advance their career. LinkedIn especially has become essential to have. 57% of employers even say they wouldn’t consider someone who doesn’t have a LinkedIn presence. Even though it’s not a replacement for your resume, LinkedIn has features such as Endorsements that add value to you as an applicant. Facebook and LinkedIn also provide additional avenues for you to find open positions and connect with employers and other colleagues in groups that you can join.

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