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Here are 7 Things to Do and Avoid Doing on Social Media
Useful advice on how to use your social media platform effecttively and portray yourself well as a job seeker!
Yes, we’ve have all heard about the risky business of using social networking sites flippantly, especially whilst applying for jobs online; in this day and age, it is almost certain that your employer will give your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages at least a fleeting browse when considering your application. Because of this, it is obviously NOT a good idea to post an endless parade of photos detailing how much of a ‘lad’ you were during your university years and even if it might not cost you a job offer, it’s still certain to frame you in a negative light. However, modern social media etiquette often goes beyond just common-sense, so here’s a guide on how to act accordingly with our top 5 things to do and not to do whilst using social networks.
Don’t be TOO Honest With Your Posts
Sure, it’s important to express some of your personality via social networks (nobody wants to hire an emotionless droid) but you need to find a balance between content that is acceptable to post and some that is definitely not (two words: drunk photos). But let’s be clear, posts about your social life can be helpful, hopefully giving employers an impression of yourself as a sociable person, with an ability to ‘get along’ with other people, something you will probably serve you well in your new/ established job position. If you have ANY doubts about whether a post will detract from your professional image, then don’t post it to your profile, simple! Also, this might be stating the obvious here but ABSOLUTELY NO SWEARING; nothing detracts from your immaculately presented professional image than a personal profile which is littered with F-bombs. Similarly, you can make your information on Facebook (for example) private to certain people, so if you don’t want said embarrassing posts being seen by your employers, it’s easy to fix.
Do Check Google Images for Your Social Media Images
Don’t forget that images uploaded to Facebook and Instagram will become accessible via Google images, so it might take some time for those to come down from there! Bear this in mind when applying for jobs; If you desperately want an image of you removed from Google Images, it might be best to contact the website displaying the image directly, as Google does not actually control content on the site. If it is proving difficult to get in touch with a particular website, using the ‘Whois’ function via Google’s web search page to find the sites administrator or registrant (e.g. go to Google and put whois www.example.co.uk). This way you can keep images that may impede your professional life hidden and away from an employer’s gaze!
Don’t Leave Outdated Information Lying Around
Whether it’s on social networking sites you use at the moment or on your teenage Bebo page from 2006, try and remove/ replace inaccurate or outdated information (if possible). Incorrect contact information especially could easily cost you an interview or job offer, because if the employer can’t reach you, then they obviously can’t talk business with you either. It might also be a bit embarrassing if your current/ potential boss stumbles across your online diary filled with 14-year-old angst replete with swear words and outdated emocore references... nobody needs to see this. Make removing unwanted content from social networks easy, preventing that clumsily-delivered critique of a Hollyoaks episode from ever surfacing again.
Don’t be Afraid to Use Social Media as a Work Networking Tool
Obviously this depends on the type of industry you are in/ want to move into, but using social networks to communicate with co-workers and employers is not necessarily a bad idea; it can be used to make you seem more personable, likeable and confident, allowing them to get a see another side of your personality in the process. Keeping in touch with fellow workers or even previous ones can help open up doors for you, making contacts which might in the future lead to jobs being offered to you. As long as you treat your chosen social networking platforms with cautiousness and professionalism, this is a great tactic for impressing an employer early on; putting you ahead of the competition and making you stand out as a keen and proactive individual.
Set up a LinkedIn account (www.linkedin.com)
Employers use this site in particular when searching for viable job candidates and can really your chances of being considered. It enables you to create a type of online CV, where your various skills and experiences can be vouched for by fellow co-workers, friends and previous bosses, all of which makes you seem like a more credible candidate. The site provides a useful outlet for being across your personality as well, more so than via a traditional CV or resume, so if you haven’t already, set up a profile with them today!
Do Try to Match Your CV/Resume with Your Profile
Employers are more likely to consider you as a credible candidate if your CV or resume is positively reinforced by information featured on your social networking pages. It helps to establish a more professional and trustworthy personality, backing up claims you might have made in your ‘about me’ section on your CV; for instance, if you’ve included that you like cycling, let employers see photos of you doing just that via Twitter. Speaking of which, this is why it’s a bad idea to lie about information either on paper or digitally, given that conflicting information is unlikely to impress or encourage potential employers, suggesting implicitly that you are not to be trusted! You can use a CV Builder to help you such as hashtagcv.com
Do Be Outspoken
Being shown to be sociable and confident via social networking is important, especially if you are applying for job positions that demand extensive customer interaction, creative enthusiasm and an ability to work as part of a team. Even if you are naturally introverted, this is no time to be shy; you have to work to attract an employer’s attention in the modern work world! As suggested, try and contact employers through social networks (employer dependent, of course) as it shows you to be a confident communicator, something which will not go unnoticed by employers, especially those in the sales and retail sectors.