Could your activity on social networking sites be affecting your job prospects? These days, something as simple as searching for someone’s full name on Facebook can potentially yield a lot of information. Here we take a look at the dos and don’ts of social media.
From embarrassing tagged photos, to messages sent to the wrong person, we cover how not to use this excellent online resource as well as how to take control of your profile and prevent missed opportunities during your search for work.
First and foremost, you have to regulate how your profile is viewed by other users. What can and can’t be seen by the general public is regulated by your privacy settings so it is very important that you are familiar with them.
Because it is not usually beneficial to allow people you don’t know a great deal of insight into your life we often recommended that you make your account as private as possible.
Even with control over who can and can’t see your profile you need to be careful about what you post. Foul language, offensive material and drunken snaps from a big night out hardly make a strong case for employment.
If you do decide to partake in similar or related acts of debauchery be sure to un-tag yourself from any photo evidence and remove all traces of it from your profile.
The discussion of business related or professional issues and commitments in a status or tweet is preferable.
Engagement with these topics through social media shows a genuine interest in the subject outside the office. Share an article that goes over, or corresponds to, a professional topic you are interested in. Don’t give a prospective employer the chance to catch you out.
Take Care In What You Do
We have all been there: it’s 2am and deadlines are looming for the next day. You are hopelessly tired but kept awake by a mixture of caffeine and fear. Sleep feels like a luxury you don’t deserve.
Work goes on for what feels like an age until you finally complete the project.
Drowsy and triumphant, you send it to your boss and message your friend to say you have finished your project and your job makes you want to jump in front of a bus.
You wake up to a message from your friend asking why you they have a copy of your quarterly report and an email from work that you have just realised you don’t want to open.
The point I am making here is that social media can quickly broadcast the very slightest of misjudgements.
With this in mind, it always pays to be careful; double check the recipient of every email you send, double check which profile you are posting from and double check that posts are up to date and factually accurate.
Make sure that you do not make any decisions in a rushed, stressed or tired frame of mind and hopefully we can avoid any unnecessary embarrassment.
Be In Control Of Your Active Media
Inactive media can refer to a number of different social media scenarios. From an inactive email address to a fossilised and deeply embarrassing forgotten MySpace account, it is important to be aware of and/or delete said media before it becomes a problem.
There have been a number of infamous “before they were famous” leaked MySpace accounts; England international footballer Jordan Henderson’s springs to mind. Suffice to say it does not represent the sportsman very well at all.
Social Media that is not up to date is not an accurate representation of you as a prospective employee. It is a potential threat to your chances of securing a desired role and should be removed.
Part of the job search is embracing the natural progression your career path takes you on but, to appear professional, the path must be well maintained and current.
Inactive email accounts can cause different problems. Whilst they are not a direct put-off to future employees, an unmanaged Gmail profile could easily be hacked and you would be none the wiser.
By managing all social medial effectively and removing what is not in use, you will be both more secure and more employable.
Despite the fact that I may have made social media sound like a catastrophe waiting to happen, it is, in actual fact, an incredible tool for use in the job search.
It gives instantaneous access to numerous contacts, it means we can apply for positions quickly and easily and it means we can manage our applications wherever we go, be that on the sofa at home or on the train to work.
With such a resource at our finger tips, it would be a cardinal sin not to use it to the best of our ability.
In many cases creating a profile is not enough; displaying your credentials or merely uploading a copy of your CV doesn’t cut it. It is a start but you need to be proactive in your use of social media.
Make applications, send messages, create connections and carry out research. Being passive online when on the lookout for a job will not put you in front of the competition, utilising the resources you have at your disposal, however, will.
Will is a 22 year old graduate from the University of Warwick. He likes expensive coffee, Mexican food and David Attenborough documentaries. You can often find Will on a train somewhere but he is at his happiest pretending to be a rock star or watching football at a bar.