While social media can be a useful job search tool, it's vital to leave out things that aren't relevant to your employment hunt.
Social media can assist you in your job search in various ways, from profiling your skills to learning about new chances, but if you're not careful, it can also work against you in landing your dream position.
Most job seekers are aware not to criticize their current employer, coworkers, or customers on social media, but do you also check for discrepancies between your offline CV and online profile, avoid posting anything that could be deemed inappropriate, and keep track of the timings of your posts and connection requests? Otherwise, you risk sabotaging your job quest.
Employers are increasingly using social media to scout candidates, so the image you project may have an impact on your prospects. If you want to keep a professional appearance during job looks, stay away from these nine social media don’ts.
Related: Employee social media policy dos and donts
1. Having the Appearance of a Bad Worker
Make sure you're presenting yourself in the best light possible on any social media platform. This entails creating a professional persona on LinkedIn. Even if you're only chatting with pals on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter, remember that your posts may be public.
You might want to let your pals know that you got away with being late for the third time this week by Tweeting about it. However, when job hunting, it's better to avoid these types of Tweets because they may appear unprofessional to a prospective employer searching for a way to assess your work ethic.
According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 60% of employers conduct social media research on job seekers, and more than half are hesitant to hire candidates who have no online presence. They're mostly searching for professionalism, evidence of your qualifications and whether you're a good fit for the organization. You're golden if your social media profiles portray you in that light.
2. Poor Etiquette and Grammar
Even if you're not seeking a job that requires writing or editing, it's critical to ensure that your social media postings appear professional, with accurate grammar, and spelling, and a double-check for anything auto-correct may have switched.
Also, avoid using all capital letters (which can come across as shouting) or too many exclamation points or hashtags. Swearing is, of course, prohibited, as is plagiarized material.
When you're in a rush or excited, posting carelessly can lead to spelling and grammatical problems, as well as bad judgment. Make sure you read something before putting it on social media.
Common writing errors, particularly on LinkedIn, might harm your professional image. Even on more social networks, taking the time to proofread can show that you're a dedicated worker.
Related: How Social Media Can Destroy Your Career
3. Complaints Against Your Current Employer or Job
Social media is not the place to vent about how your employer doesn't give you enough credit, the stupid task you have to complete, or the lame office snacks.
Putting your problems out there in such a public arena could show a lack of discretion and a contempt for confidentiality, which could turn off possible future employers.
Just in case, be cautious when discussing your job in general. What you say about your coworkers or projects could be misconstrued as a negative attitude or lack of commitment, or it could simply irritate a possible future employer.
4. Very personal photos
It's fine to share personal images on social media—, for certain platforms, that's the whole point!
Make sure your main profile picture isn't a photo of you lying drunk on the curb. Instead, consider using a professional photograph or perhaps a cartoonish avatar. I'm afraid I don't think potential employers will see the funny side of a photo of you slumped on the side of the road after a night out... or wearing a bikini.
Any photographs associated with your profiles may appear on the first results page if an employer runs a Google search with your name.
Just make sure to delete any photos that aren't professional, and limit the types of photos you share to those you'd be comfortable having your boss (and HR department, coworkers, and direct reports) see. Set your profile to private and remove yourself from any images that may be "too" personal.
5. Foul language and excessive ranting
It's counterproductive to portray oneself as a kind and accessible person in all of your job applications before swearing like a trucker on social media.
You've had a particularly awful day at work or home; all you want to do now is yell. Hear me out: DO NOT rage on the internet. You must be cautious of your online behaviour, just as you must be cautious of unsuitable profile photos. Clean up your social media profiles by deleting any status updates or postings that do not reflect well on you as a professional. When commenting or posting on the internet, always use caution to avoid things being taken out of context.
6. Look up your name on Google and see what comes up
When you type your name into a search engine, what comes up? From tweets to images, there's almost certainly a wealth of information. Employers can easily obtain information that you would wish to keep private. You can find a lot of it simply by Googling your name. Keep an eye on what appears, and if any photos or posts appear to be impeding your job hunt, modify your profile settings or delete the offending items.
7. Spending time online on your boss's dime is not a good idea
When you're job hunting, the temptation is to spend time looking at job advertisements, possibly submitting your resume to apply, talking to contacts, or blogging about the ups and downs of your job search on a Facebook page. You surely wouldn't be the first (or the first) person to do so if you did. Many people look for jobs at work, but because of how employers monitor employees, it's not a good idea to use your work computer or email account for job searching. Or, if you must, exercise extreme caution.
8. Be both intelligent and social
Using social media to help you network, build your brand, and put yourself in front of companies and recruiters who are looking for candidates is a powerful way to help you network, build your brand, and put yourself in front of companies and recruiters who are looking for candidates. You'll be able to maximize the benefits of your social media profiles and find a job you enjoy if you know what (and what not!) to post and share.
This article was written by Nicholas T. Mushayi, a consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org