Play it smart with Social Media, and don’t make these mistakes when it comes to putting your career at stake.
Social media if used properly could mean the difference between getting the job you want, or making a mistake that could prevent you from getting the job you have applied for. Here are a number of social media mistakes that you should steer clear of.
We are more electronically connected than ever before, and with connections come the responsibility to be wise about what you post, where you post, and how you are viewed on social media platforms. Here are some examples:
1.) Be careful what you say
It’s easy to get caught up in a discussion or post about an incident that happened where you might vent or post a derogatory opinion about a race, religion, nationality or political group that might be sensitive to a lot of people.
Whether you meant to post it as a joke or a prank, a lot of people might see it, including your employer or prospective employer, and they might have a negative opinion about your post or opinion, and they might take it the wrong way, which could mean your job.
2.) Watch what and where you post
Be mindful of what you post, and where you post it. Posting an inappropriate photo of yourself in a compromising situation, for example, will land you in hot water if someone you work with, or someone you interviewed with sees it.
Also, stay away from posting photos of yourself while intoxicated. These types of behavior might not be what the company wants in their candidates. Also, don’t assume a potential employer is only checking one of your social media profiles.
They check LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, and other public profiles they may find online about you.
3.) Badmouthing your company or boss
Negative venting about your job, company or boss is never a good idea. Remember the world-wide-web is open 24/7, and you never know if a colleague knows the person you may be badmouthing. Negative talk almost always gets back to people in no time.
You don’t want it to come back and haunt you if you’re about to get a job offer or promotion. This badmouthing might also affect future job opportunities too.
4.) Poor use of spelling, punctuation, and grammar in your posts
This will give the reader an indication that you lack the ability to clearly communicate your message and ideas effectively. You don’t want to get written off before you have a chance to prove your worth to a company because of typos or poorly written posts or comments.
5.) Posting personal information about job offers, interviews, income, etc.
Personal information is simply that. Personal. Confidentiality is critically important when it comes to your livelihood and how you earn a living. With increased risks of personal accounts getting hacked, and personal information stolen, we should be even more protective of our personal information.
If you post that you received a job offer, and criticize the offering party because it wasn’t exactly what you wanted or they tried to low-ball you, don’t resort to any disrespectful comments. It’s just not a good idea.
I can’t stress enough the importance of using your own content, material, and voice. Plagiarism is most definitely frowned upon in any shape or form. It has no place in the business world. It is wrong at many different levels, and speaks volumes about the lack of creativity, integrity, and business morals and ethics.
If you’re quoting an article, posting a photo or tweet, give credit where credit is due, and cite the source and author.
7.) Badmouthing your customers
We all have days where things don’t go as smoothly as we would like. Maybe your customer is giving you a hard time about an order or complaining about your product or service, or how you delivered it.
Whether you work in the corporate world, retail, or a service industry, it’s never a good idea to badmouth your customers, especially if you post it on social media. It shows your company or business in a negative light. Don’t make these mistakes, because they could be detrimental to your career or job.
8.) Zero presence on Social Media
Not having a presence on any social media platforms could hurt your chances if a potential employer is looking to find information on your character, background, history, education, charity work, or general information that may help them to see what kind of profile you may have.
If they don’t find anything on you, they may get suspicious, and decide not to pursue you as a future employee.
Participating and being active online shows that you are serious about contributing to meaningful conversations. Following links is a good way of staying on top of industry news and topics of interest. Establish yourself as an industry expert by commenting on questions with relevant answers and following links and posts.
After spending some time on several social media platforms, you’ll get an idea of which ones are used by industries you are interested in. Also, be sure to make connections with industry leaders to increase your chances for job opportunities.
9.) Add your website URL
If you don’t have a personal website, it’s easy to set up. Many hosting companies offer it for free if you host with them, or you can search online for free website templates. If on the other hand you do have a personal website, make sure you showcase your resume and work experience on your website. Be sure to add your website address to your other social media profiles too.
Keep it professional like LinkedIn and Twitter, but not your personal Facebook profile. It shows a potential employer that you are connected to social media, and serious about presenting your professional profile in a positive light.
This also demonstrates that you know your way around the world of social media, and it also helps if an employer wants to connect with you.
10.) Start connecting with the right people
When researching who to connect with, LinkedIn would be one that I would start with first. Sometimes there are job opportunities that aren’t advertised on job boards, and finding contacts at organizations who have openings that are not advertised might take a little work.
When putting together a list of prospects, look at individuals who are connected with mutual contacts, and maybe people in the same industry as you, and even people who could recommend you to someone who has a job opening.
You can find information about an individual and their role at an organization on LinkedIn by doing job title searches within a geography or by a specific company name.
Once you have identified your list, start connecting with them, follow them on Twitter, and share and repost their tweets as well.
11.) Start a blog
Blogging is a great way to start getting exposure to new contacts and showcasing your knowledge to a potential employer. If you’ve never considered starting a blog, you might find that your posts might catch the eye of an important hiring manager or recruiter with an opening that may fit your background and experience.
12.) Keep your profile up to date and accurate
Consistency is key here. If you have multiple social media profiles, all of them should be updated with current information. One of the most important aspects of managing your personal information on social media accounts is to keep that information private.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others allow you to manage what you want to share with friends and the general public. If a potential employer does a search on you, they won’t be able to see personal details that you don’t want them to see.
~ Tom Dushaj