Don’t let your posts cost you your career!
When you apply for a job now you should realise that an employer will want to check out your LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter pages. Almost all of our clients will check out a candidate’s social media profiles before inviting them to interview.
Why? With the rise of social media a lot of your information – both professional and personal – is readily available online. Of course employers will want to take advantage of this because it can be much more telling than a three-page CV.
Over the last few years I’ve noticed what I would call social media etiquette becoming more and more important when it comes to the world of work. We all have digital footprints now, and whether we like it or not it makes sense for employers to quickly and easily do a search on the net. The question is, will they find something that could cost you the job?
Sadly, in my experience the answer has been yes. I think it’s easily forgotten that what you think is private is often all too public. Many people argue online privacy is a myth. As the internet strives to make the world a more open community, you need to bear in mind that you are on show to employers too not just your followers or friends. Don’t let them find something you don’t want them to see!
Ok, so what is good social media etiquette? Let’s think about the 3 big networks:
This is a professional network. Everything you post here should be of a professional nature, especially because it is habitually an employer’s first port of call after reading your CV. Treat your LinkedIn like a kind of digital CV, but with a bit more character to it. Plus, make sure your career history on your CV matches up with what you say on LinkedIn. Recently this cost one of our candidates an interview, because he’d neglected to tell the full story on his CV.
Having said this, a little office banter never hurt anyone and one or two FJ mavericks can be seen posting bad jokes nearly every lunchtime (not naming any names of course). Really, though, very little of what you do outside of work should appear on your LinkedIn. Be weary of irrelevant posts! Facebook and Twitter hinge on mutual interests; LinkedIn hinges on mutual career ties. With so many industry-specific groups and industry-related articles I think this site is best used to leverage your own career.
Risky territory. If you’re the kind of person who likes to have a moan about work make sure all of your privacy settings are turned on. If these aren’t all locked down, employers could discover things that will jeopardize your chances, so don’t make it easier for them. Just be a bit streetwise. Case in point: a client I’m currently working with is looking to replace an employee who keeps posting updates when they’re ‘ill.’ Another tiring day at the golf course? Not very savvy.
You could always have a work and personal account, as you shouldn’t feel like you have to censor yourself.
Less risky. Have a laugh! Twitter is much more light-hearted. Most people I know have a work and personal account, but this site is more forgiving of silliness and most employers will recognize that. Again, just make sure you’d be comfortable with a prospective employer seeing your tweets. If you’re swearing in every other Tweet, for example, you’re going to look dead unprofessional.
Essentially Twitter is a live feed of real time updates, so it’s the perfect place to voice your opinion on news as it happens. Especially news related to your field, which looks great from an employer’s perspective. Candidates who are engaged are an asset to any team.
Please see also another well related social post of mine, ” could your selfie cost you your career” for more hints and tips on how to be a professional social media expert.
Read more of Sarah Socha’s LinkedIn Publisher posts. Visit FinlayJames.co.uk