While social media is a great way to connect with recruiters and employers and showcase yourself online, it can also be a way to jeopardize your career. Whether you’re looking for a new job or trying to keep the one you have, here are some things to keep in mind while spending time on social media:
- Remember that it’s a public forum: Most of what you post on social media sites can be seen by the general public. So think twice before you put something out there for all to see. Refrain from inappropriate language or behavior that might reflect poorly on your name to employers or recruiters, even if you have privacy settings on your profiles. And do a search on your name and remove any offensive photos or posts that have been tagged and mention your name.
- Do tell people you’re looking for a job: It’s okay to let your friends and followers know that you’re looking for a new job. This can actually work to your advantage, because people might be able to make an introduction for you that could help you land a job.
- Don’t complain about your employer or job search: As tempting as it may be, it’s not a good idea to bash your current or former employer on social media. And complaining about how your job search is going just makes you look desperate to a potential employer.
- Avoid political or controversial topics on social media: Although you may have an opinion about the election or a recent hot topic, remember that your future employer might have a different perspective, and it’s not worth alienating anyone during a job hunt.
- Don’t create a social media profile and leave it blank: If you don’t plan to spend the time to position yourself well on a particular social media site, or build many connections, don’t create a profile at all. This can hurt you more than help you during your job search. Our recruiters often search on social media sites such as LinkedIn to see a detailed resume, list of accomplishments and recommendations. And make sure you have a professional profile picture, too!
- Watch for spelling and typographical errors when you post: Much like an online resume, make sure to proofread your profiles and status updates to uphold a professional image.
- Balance your time on social media for personal and professional use: If you are also using social media as a professional outlet for your job search, you should find ways to showcase your good qualities, successes and strengths, rather than simply using it as a personal outlet.
The best rule of thumb for using social media for your job search is to remember that you are showcasing your personal brand to the world. How do you want people to perceive you? If you have not positioned yourself in the best light, it’s time to make some adjustments in order to boost, rather than sabotage, your career search.