When you apply for a job, it’s not just your CV that matters. According to CareerBuilder, 60% of employers research potential hires on social media. Take a look at your Twitter page – read your tweets objectively and think; does this content reflect who I am and who I want to portray to the world? Now do the same for Facebook and Instagram. Unless your pages are set to private, potential employers will be able to see everything you post and make a snap judgement about you.
Tweeting about how much you hate your job? Posting a Facebook status every half an hour when you’re meant to be at work? Instagramming yourself out drinking every night? You might see it as harmless and a bit of fun, but it is so easy for an employer to build up an image of you that is probably inaccurate. Although no-one ever missed out on a job offer because of a photo of their meal on Instagram, there are some considerations to take into account:
If you don’t want to set your profiles to private, just consider the content you want to share and how it can be perceived. Post as though your future boss is looking over your shoulder – does he or she really need to see you arguing with a stranger on Facebook about Brexit?
Build a social presence to show your interest in your chosen industry – this is especially important if you are a recent graduate or looking for your first role. For example, if you’re looking to start a career in Marketing, think about posting relevant content to do with industry trends and campaigns, interacting with key movers and shakers in agencies and brands, but make sure you show your personality too. And most importantly, express yourself well - make sure your English is good.
You can even use social media to find a new job! Connect with people at companies you’d like to work at as it’s a great way to show interest and also see what they’re working on and are interested in. If appropriate, you can also use social media to enquire about opportunities – but this is perhaps best kept to…
…LinkedIn! While not technically a social network per se, LinkedIn is a great way to build up a professional profile that employers can browse in tandem with your CV. Make sure you ask for recommendations and endorsements from colleagues (past and present) to show your impact and value to prospective employers.
It doesn’t stop once you’re in a job; you still need to consider what you’re posting. It’s rare but not impossible to be fired for a whole range of mistakes on social media – discriminatory comments, insulting language towards bosses and colleagues, the sharing of provocative or illegal material, and so on! Just be wary of what you post and who can see it. Decide carefully before ‘friending’ colleagues and senior members of staff on social media, too. Do you really want your boss seeing your holiday photos?!
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