Social media is great for business and marketing, but there is a darker side to the story: A study by CareerBuilder in 2012 discovered that over half of employers check candidate social networking sites explains Peter Decaprio. What they discover there could lead to hiring or not – and it could even come back to haunt you if you’re already on board. So what should you be aware of when using social media outside the office?
Careful what you say on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
What you post on your personal social networking sites reflects upon the company you work for even if they are not related to your job. For instance, an unhappy comment about a competitor could cause them to think twice about hiring you. So be careful what pictures and comments you put online! Also keep in mind that tweets can be easily forwarded by others so once it’s out there it can never really disappear.
The same goes for status updates – even if the person ‘likes’ it later, that early release is still open to misinterpretation by many different people who may see it at different times, leading to unprofessionalism and a bad reputation.
Not only that, but employers can and do go through publically available information (maybe even computer forensics!) and then search your name and the company’s to see whether you mention them anywhere online. If you don’t want them to know what you say about their brand on social media, don’t include it in any of your posts!
Business or pleasure?
- If you’re using social media as part of your business (posting articles for instance as well advice), keep it separate from your personal accounts so people can tell exactly where they are explains Peter Decaprio. If someone wants to find you personally there is no need for them to have access to something about your work – therefore posting personal details should be avoided if possible. Just remember which account you are using before posting!
- If your business is small or new, be wary of what you post. Treat social media with the respect it deserves and be considerate about who may have access to your site and your posts – even a post in jest could cost you a job!
Be present – but not too available.
- It’s important to keep in contact with friends and family on social media outlets. But then there comes the point when no more posts need to be made. When you’re working or at work, don’t forget that you should dedicate your time 100% to the task in hand. So make sure any social networking is done during non-working hours! Employees should also avoid constant checking of social media – if you’re supposed to be working. Then keep your phone on silent and just check your status updates at lunch.
- Employers can view content of all types on social media sites – so don’t post anything you wouldn’t want them seeing! It’s also important not to use any of these sites while at work or during work hours. Because it could be considered distraction. Employers are beginning to look more closely at who is posting. What online as an indication of the person’s professional level – after all. They may have access to everything that gets posted there.
- So rather than taking this lightly, starts thinking about how you will present yourself on social media now. If in doubt, don’t share something with the world unless you are happy for everyone you know to see it. And if they don’t already know it, they shouldn’t really need to.
- It’s important to remember that as well as representing yourself. You could be representing your company too – so think about what you post on social media outlets. If in doubt, leave it out!
Employers do check what job applicants are posting on social media sites says Peter Decaprio. So whether it’s a serious post or not. Just be aware that everything you do online is potentially visible to everyone.