You might not realise it, but how you use social media can potentially play havoc with your future job prospects. Here are seven simple rules to stick to…
Here’s a fact you might not have considered before: misusing social media can make you unemployable. A survey done in 2012 by Careerbuilder.co.uk found that over a third of employers use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to check out candidates before meeting them, and if they don’t like what they see, you can say goodbye to landing that life-changing job.
It’s all too easy to jump onto the social media bandwagon without thinking about how you are perceived on the internet, and such thoughtlessness can screw up any chance of future job prospects.
Sounds frightening doesn’t it? But with these golden rules, you’ll soon be a social media guru who will make a good impression before you’ve even met the employers.
Rule #1: Delete Embarrassing Photos
Your friends might think it fun to take hundreds of snapshots of your undignified night out, but don’t let them put the photos on Facebook or tag you in them. Have a scroll through your photo albums and imagine how you would come across to somebody who has never met you. If all they can see are blurred nightclub photos, just think how a potential employer would react. No-one wants to employ a party animal.
rule #2: think before you post
Thoughtless comments remain ingrained on the Internet, as Paris Brown found out to her cost when offensive tweets were discovered on her account. Offensive posts should not even cross your mind anyway, and anything deemed offensive will screw up your chances.
If you find something you posted years ago that you now regret, delete the post or ask the site to take it down; they should be happy to comply.
rule #3: be honest
One of the main reasons that potential employers write off certain candidates is because of false information being posted on their social media profile page. I’ll admit it might be amusing to say that you went to school at Hogwarts or that you can speak fluent Swahili, but if you’re looking for a job potential employers will want to see the real you, not false information. Be proud and upfront about your qualifications and don’t hide behind waffle.
rule #4: check your privacy settings
A great way to see your presence on the internet is to log out of all social media and Google yourself. You’ll be able to see exactly what is public and what isn’t on your profile pages. Try changing your settings to only allow your friends to see your photos and posts and only keep a minimum amount of personal information public.
rule #5: be respectful
Employers want a good attitude to work, so if you’ve posted saying how much you hate getting up in the morning for your job or how you don’t get on with your current employer, chances are that future employers won’t be impressed. Avoid using social media as an outlet for your gripes about your current job.
rule #6: don’t brag
Advocating the use of drugs or drinking an excessive amount of alcohol will do nothing for your future job prospects. It shouldn’t even cross your mind, but don’t post anything that could be deemed as irresponsible behaviour.
rule #7: be positive
It’s tempting to use social media to complain about everyone and everything just to get likes or retweets; we’ve all been guilty of it. Just think how much more pleasant it would be scrolling down your news feed to find all your friends or everyone you’re following writing positive posts that make you smile.
Take a happy approach to life, and potential employers will be knocking at your door!
Have you got more tips on how to avoid screwing up future job prospects? Post them below.