By Kevin Wood, Client Relations Manager @ Hot Travel Jobs.
Whether it’s Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or LinkedIn, your social media posts and profile reflects a searchable and possibly hazardous first impression for employers and colleagues. In today’s tech-savvy culture, care should be taken to make sure that the you that people see online isn’t one you’d be ashamed to meet in an office.
Tips to Remember
I. What you post on Facebook can be found via search engines or looking up your email address. This means no getting tagged in raucous bar photos, no explicit status updates and no ‘liking’ questionable material. Your online presence says a lot about you when someone’s never met you in the flesh and it can all be found with a few simple search terms.
II. Logging into sites or connecting to them via Facebook gives people on the other end a direct road to your social media profiles. That means if an application form has the option of carrying over contact or personal information via Facebook or LinkedIn, your potential boss will see everything about you. Even things you’d rather not have them see. Your potential boss isn’t going to be terribly impressed if your personal URL is facebook.com/drunkhippie61. Nor are they going to be willing to hire you if your page displays hundreds of pictures of you passed out with liquor or other unsavory things. Just like you don’t want to show up to an interview without pants on, you don’t want a party animal’s page.
III. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and fresh. Treat it like a second resume. Even though employers will follow through with background checks and reference checks from your resume, more and more employees are logging into application sites via LinkedIn and using their profile as an abbreviated resume. If you’re one of these people, strive to make sure your profile is as professional and polished as your paper resume.
IV. Have a Youtube Account? Post a Video Resume to it and all your social media. Doing this shows a couple of things to prospective employers. First, you’re professional enough to make sure the content of your profiles is optimized towards professionalism. Second, it shows very, very valuable tech skills and internet savvy.
V. Be Careful who you friend. While it may seem like a good idea to friend your boss or supervisor on Facebook, keep in mind this can have a variety of unintended consequences. Complain about how slow work is or how much you loathe a fellow employee and make it a status update? Guess who has access to that now and can hold it as a mark against you when promotion time comes. Or keep in mind your boss might be best friends with the person you just called incompetent.
VI. Avoid Negativity. As we mentioned before, disparaging someone on your profile can have serious consequences down the road. However, posting anything overtly negative, spiteful or vindictive can have the same effect. Posting something along the lines of “Our waiter must be an idiot, my drink is 1 minute late!” can make you look like an ill-tempered jerk and someone not fit for that new corner office.
Keep these hints and tips in mind when you’re posting the next status update or tagging yourself in a picture.