When I was younger, Myspace was the biggest social media platform around, I had thousands of ‘friends’, hundreds of ‘likes’ on my mirror-posed photos and an endless amount of hormonally heightened ‘statuses’ (‘I hate my life, my parents, my School’ etc. etc. – teenagers eh?), nowadays Facebook has replaced Myspace and we have the addition of Instagram, Twitter, Vine, LinkedIn and probably a few more platforms that, as BBR’s Marketing Administrator, I should definitely know about. The point is, these days there is no escaping the requirement of a personal online profile and while LinkedIn has chiselled itself out as the highly professional superior to the over zealous Facebook and the gossip-queen Twitter, there is still a certain expectation that many people are ignoring when it comes to your presence on the internet.
Perhaps these rules should be taken with a pinch of salt, after all, what you do out of the office is your own business however, if you’re looking for a job or trying to further your career or even just trying to appear more professional then be warned, you could be committing some serious social media faux pas and potential and even current employers will definitely be watching.
Moaning about work
There aren’t many people who don’t do this, so you’re not alone in that post-Friday celebration (sorry weekend workers), but do you know what’s really professional? Sucking it up, buttercup!
Sure, go home and scream into a pillow, have a verbal throw down with your dog but don’t lose your classiness by complaining about a colleague in an indirect comment on Facebook or by expressing your exasperation with the boss in a 5-tweet rant. No amount of moaning about a past or current employer will endear a potential employer and it certainly won’t help if you still work there.
Treating LinkedIn like the rest
LinkedIn is an established professional platform. It is not the new Myspace or Facebook, it has been designed to allow business people easier access to recruitment and networking and therefore, if you have made a profile you should use it accordingly. Treat your page like a CV; establish your career moves, list your skills and showcase your portfolio if you have one. Keep your profile photo simple and professional and try to keep personal information for other websites.
Approaching people in an unprofessional manner
We get this a lot on Linked In and Twitter; people send us personal messages or quick 145 character tweets with poor spelling, no structure and no CV attached. We don’t use social media to directly recruit however many Companies use the above platforms to check out potential employees and, if you’re in the business of actively seeking a job, you should remember the correct etiquette to approach someone who may or may not be able to assist you in your career. Introduce yourself, admire their work or the Company’s business and enquire how to apply for a specific role or how to send a prospective resume because you’d be really keen to work in such a fantastic environment. Don’t forget to keep your message formal! ‘Hi I really want a job’ expresses eagerness, for sure, but it doesn’t really scream ‘I’m a professional!’
Keep your job applications and interviews to yourself
Declaring you are looking for a new job on the internet is the quick route to a meeting with your current boss and the result will not be pretty. Be savvy with your job search, keep it to yourself until you’ve cleared your situation completely!
There are plenty of other examples we would suggest about being wary of when using social media; posting inappropriate photos, getting into online arguments, preaching political, religious or other agendas and oversharing personal information are all risky subjects, it is worth carefully considering anything you post on the internet even for your own online safety! We’d recommend ensuring your profiles are private as a general rule of thumb anyway!