With more than 300 million users on LinkedIn, 400 million on Instagram, 320 million users on Twitter and 1.65 billion Facebook users, it’s quite obvious the social media scene is bigger than ever before with no signs of decreasing; according to Statistica the number of global social media users is expected to reach 2.5 billion by 2018.
Social Media can prove to be a very powerful tool, offering a new alternative when looking for employment these days. However, as the old cliché says, ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’ Yes, social media is a powerful tool when looking for work and circulating your CV, when used properly it can be considered a blessing that has definitely made us more accessible to one another. On the other hand it does make us more accountable to others too, giving the power to hinder rather than help if not carefully used.
Increasingly employers are reviewing social media before meeting potential employees; this is taking over traditional recruitment methods as a way of vetting and sourcing staff. Of course traditional methods are still driving people to Job Sites but Companies are not necessarily using these methods alone anymore; especially in this digital age where most of us use four or five social media networks, giving us all a digital footprint and making us all much more accessible.
So although you may be first class at the job your doing and have a top notch CV, your social media persona could change everything so don’t let yourself fall at the first hurdle. Hopefully with a few simple tips you can use to avoid any social media faux-pas.
1) Google Yourself
Employers’ increasingly understand the benefit of doing a quick search on you when you apply for a position with them. Any red flags believe me could just cost you the job.
You may think your privacy settings are tighter than a maximum security prison, but you may just want to run a Google search on yourself to see exactly what comes up. Social networks update their settings all the time so you may be surprised that not just your friends and followers can see your posts.
2) Keep your LinkedIn professional!
The first thing most potential employers will do will be to look you up on LinkedIn. Remember LinkedIn is an online extension of your CV so any pictures of you on a boozy night or out declaring your undying love for your new dog are exactly the sorts of pictures that should not be on your LinkedIn. Present yourself in the best professional light and you will make a great first impression before even stepping through the door.
3) Be careful what you post
Be incredibly careful with what you post on any social media site and remember that you represent your employer/ future employers. Whether you like it or not, you have a personal online brand, and that by default means that you represent your employer and hold accountability to some extent for their image. So although everyone likes to vent now and again, believe me doing it publicly and complaining about your job or boss on social media is a sure way to land you in hot water. Remember you will potentially represent any future employer as well so act accordingly.
4) Take a leaf out your Grans book
What would your Gran say? The chances are that if your Gran is taken aback by the images and declarations you are posting on your social media, then your boss probably will be too. Don’t delete your endless stream of dog videos and of course still be yourself, but profanity, inflammatory content, over indulging on vino and any nudity will definitely not work in your favor – spare your career the pain and just don’t make an insta-twit of yourself
Finally it’s simple really, just think twice! Always take a moment to think before you do anything on social media because it may come back to bite you one day. If you are actively seeking work, consider what a potential employer may care to see, or not see. As we are now in May 2016 (who can quite believe it?!) it is the perfect time to give your social media a spring clean before embarking on a new job search – don’t let any social media slip ups hold you back.