Social media is a huge part of everyone’s life now. Almost everyone you know has a Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great way to stay connected to your friends and family. Social media are also great tools for networking. However, if used the wrong way it can negatively impact your career. According to a survey conducted by Reppler.com of 300 hiring managers, 91 percent of these hiring managers say they use social networking sites to screen prospective employees. 76 percent check Facebook, 53 percent check Twitter and 48 percent check LinkedIn. This means that anything you have on the social media sites is being looked at by potential employers.
Social media don’ts are easier said than done. Many of us forget that people other than our friends and family may be looking at our profile, so we put up a seemingly appropriate picture of ourselves, or update our status with a curse word and think it’s OK. If you have a job or are looking for a job, it’s important you keep all of your profiles on your social media sites clean. The easiest way to do this is to not post anything that may embarrass you in the future. Before you make a status update or tweet think about what your boss would think if he or she read it. Reppler.com made a list of the number of red flags hiring managers found on potential hires profiles. These red flags were lying about qualifications, posting inappropriate photos, posting inappropriate comments, posting negative comments about a previous employer, demonstrating poor communication skills, making discriminatory comments and posting comments about drugs and drinking.
You may want to completely privatize your profile, but it’s actually better to make certain areas of your account accessible to the public. This will allow employers to see information about you that can push them towards hiring you. Giving them no information at all won’t help you either. Let them know what you have accomplished and what you are looking to do with your career and skills.
The overall objective is to keep your social media sites professional. This will help you make networking connections with the right people. Once you are hired, remember to keep your profiles on the professional side. Avoid posting about your job, such as inside details that aren’t meant to be public yet or complaints about your boss. Save the gossip for after work drinks where what you say isn’t out in the open for the entire world to read.
Social media can be a powerful networking tool. Start networking with your new coworkers and add them to your social sites. Follow important leaders in your career field on twitter to keep up with what’s new. If you’re looking for a job, follow companies you’re interested in working for so you can stay updated on their hiring status. Social media can help you land your job or help you get fired- it’s all in the manner of how you use it.