Whether you like it or not, your use of social media – whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or any of the many other outlets – can have a significant impact on your job and career options. Whether that impact is positive or negative is really up to you!
Here are some key tips for savvy social media usage:
1. Have a social media presence.
2. Be careful with your social media once you’re on the job.
3. Use social media to your advantage.
Not being on any social media can hurt you. In today’s fast-paced world, the large majority of employers use social media sites to identify and research candidates. Make sure that you can be found! Nearly half (47%) of the surveyed employers say that if they can’t readily find a candidate’s online presence, they are less likely to call that person for an interview.
If you are active in social media forums, carefully manage and watch what you post. If you are in the market for, say, a front desk/receptionist position, an employer often will want to check out your professionalism at work and on your own time. The potential employer will frequently look at your grammar, pictures, and posts, and form an immediate impression. If these posts are immature or otherwise something that would not represent the company well, hiring managers will move on to consider other candidates. The thought is, why risk damaging our reputation?
In the beginning, take it slow and easy. It’s tempting to try adding all of your new work friends to your social media pages. But be wary of who you add and what you post. If you get into a disagreement later with a coworker, they may be able to use something you’ve posted to get you reprimanded … or even fired. And it’s not just coworkers who view your posts. Half (48%) of the employers surveyed say they check their employees’ social media accounts, sometimes daily (!). And 1 of 3 (34%) of those employers have found something worth taking disciplinary action on … counseling, training or even firing employees. Until you know someone well enough, wait to add people. And if you do, be sure not to post anything that could get you in deep trouble.
When applying for jobs, know that employers are seeking out your social media to give insight into your professionalism, maturity, temperament, thinking, skills, expertise and experiences. Be sure that your face is your profile picture, and make it a pleasant (and professional) representation of yourself. If you know you post quite a bit of political commentary or have a different sense of humor than some, make those posts private, available only to your friends. On the other hand, make anything that would be viewed as positive – especially in the field you’re looking to gain employment in – available for public viewing. Remember, if your position, or the position you’re applying for, could lead you to manage the company’s social media, or be a well-known face within, use social media as a way to show them you are worth the interview, and worth handing the additional responsibility.
(written by: Chrystal)