Social media can sometimes be a double edge sword. It’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and keep up with the news, whether it is Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. However, if you don’t use it properly and are mindful of what you are doing, it could cost you.
More and more employers and hiring managers are using social media to research the candidates that are applying for their companies. Checking out a candidate’s social media profiles, enables a company to get an idea for what the candidate is like beyond their resume.
If just the idea of that is making your stomach knot in fear of what they may find on your profile – it is time to make some changes.
First, check the privacy settings. Some social media sites are really sneaky with how they set up privacy settings so be sure to check exactly what is available for the public to see. If you have pictures or posts that you wouldn’t want an employer to see – change your settings or delete the posts.
Second, make sure you are being appropriate on all of your profiles. An infamous social media tip is: “If you wouldn’t say it to your grandmother, don’t post it.” This is definitely something you should keep in mind when deciding which 140 characters to tweet or what pictures you should add to Facebook from the past weekend. Keep inappropriate language to a bare minimum or don’t use it at all. Try not to be too opinionated about controversial topics that could lead to unfair judgement on yourself. You should try and post information that relates to your field or news relative to your industry.
Finally, use each of your social media platforms appropriately. Facebook has become much more personal – a great place to stay in touch with family and friends. Twitter on the other hand, allows more engagement with people you may not know through retweets and hashtags. LinkedIn is the best place to post industry news articles that you find interesting and network with people in your field. Know how to make the most out of each of these platforms in the most appropriate ways.
Overall, always remember that whatever you put out there on the Internet is there for anyone to find, see, send and attribute to you. Make sure you don’t regret it.