Nothing can stand in your way. Right?
——— Wrong! ——–
Have you checked out your social media presence lately?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest…the list goes on. You might use one of them or all of them but to a relative stranger your presence on these platforms can shape their opinion of your entire character and identity. And damage it too.
More and more employers are ‘checking out’ likely looking candidates by scrolling through their publicly accessible social media accounts.
This can be a double-edged sword – a positive social media presence can in fact improve your chances of being offered the job.
But a negative social media presence could turn a potential yes into a resounding no.
The Top 5 Social Media mistakes
The top 5 mistakes applicants (sometimes unwittingly) make on their social media accounts are:
- Using vulgar images and bad language – this includes posting potentially offensive ‘memes’!
- Complaining about employers and/or colleagues – seems obvious doesn’t it?! But people do this more often than you think…
- Uploading photos from drunken nights out, or making references to excessive drinking or drug taking – Just don’t. This is never a good idea.
- Posting ‘sexy selfies’, or just posting too many selfies – your ‘duck face’ could cause you to be labeled as shallow or self-centred.
- Repeated spelling errors or bad grammar – it’s unprofessional and shows a serious lack of attention to detail.
Are you guilty of any of these?
If so it might be time to do a quick recap of your posts to date and clean up your accounts.
Using the ‘view as’ function or looking at your account through a friend’s login can give you a better idea of how you appear in the public eye.
And don’t forget to review your privacy and tagging settings!
Having a bland and stale online presence, where you rarely log in or post and the details are out of date, can be almost as damaging as having a negative one. It’s useful to bear this in mind also.
There’s the risk that potential employers might see you as lacking in social skills, or worry you might not fit in with your colleagues.
On the flipside a well-managed account on any platform can really help you advance your career, and it’s easy to promote a positive social media presence by proactively interacting and posting.
Use it as a chance to create your own personal ‘brand’, and showcase yourself to prospective employers and potential connections and contacts.