What would a prospective employer think if they saw your social media profiles? Would they think your fun, professional, creative? Or that you’re unreliable, unprofessional, perhaps even a bad role model?
We’ve all heard of recruiters and companies searching for prospective employees on various social media platforms to get all the background information on candidates. This not only means your LinkedIn profile but also your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Both recruiters and prospective employers want to know the personality of candidates and what drives them. This information may not come across clearly on a CV or LinkedIn profile. They’re also looking at how active you are on these channels, are you a key influencer in your industry, or have you done anything impressive recently?
All this information completes your career story and tells prospective employers if you’re the right candidate for their company.
To make sure your social media doesn’t hinder your new job or next promotion, here are 5 ways to career proof your social media.
Check your privacy settings
All social media platforms should have privacy settings. On Facebook, you can choose who see’s your posts, such as only friends, only me or the public.
Make sure your posts are set to only friends if you don’t want potential employers to find them.
On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, you can make your accounts private to protect yourself.
Create separate profiles
You might think ‘I don’t want all my posts to be private’. The best option for you could be to create separate accounts on the platform. You can have a private Twitter account for sharing personal stuff and another public Twitter account for sharing industry related news that you don’t mind employers seeing.
This shows any future employers that you are active on social media without them getting a negative opinion of you.
Never talk about work
To be super safe I suggest that you never talk about work. Don’t even mention a word about work on your social media profiles. Even if you had a bad day at work or if a colleague has been annoying you, keep it offline in personal settings.
Just remember once it’s online you may never get the chance to remove it! Before you know it, your boss might be calling you in for a meeting about your online ramblings. Not a conversation I would want to have with my boss!
Maximise on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is really the place to show off your talent to prospective employers, so make good use of it! Some of the basics are completing your profile 100%, using a professional photo and asking for recommendations.
To really go the extra mile start being more active on it! This means share industry news, participate in groups and follow industry experts and companies you want to work for. Find out how to make the most of your LinkedIn with our tips.
Use common sense
Finally, please use your common sense. Think before posting anything online. Does a potential employer want to see drunk photos of you from last night? Or see you getting hysterical over petty problems? Just remember this advice, all it takes is one irresponsible post, and your career could be over. So always think carefully about what you’re posting and if you are in doubt, then don’t post it!
Social media is a powerful tool for both employers and employees. If used right it can boost your career prospects. But always think before posting anything online. After all, everyone wants to look professional.