Do’s and Don’ts for Using Social Platforms
Beware your online identity. Your presence on the Internet can help or hurt your reputation and career aspirations.
Employers routinely use social networking websites and search engines to screen job seekers based on information found in cyberspace. In fact, a recent Harris Interactive survey for CareerBuilder.com found that 45 percent of employers use social networks to screen job candidates. Another study done by Microsoft put the number even higher, finding that 70 percent of recruiters and hiring managers look online for information about applicants.
So stop and think about what you post online. Present yourself as if you’re creating a personal brand and positioning yourself for success. What you put on Facebook and Twitter isn’t just for friends and family, whether or not you set your profiles as private.
Here are some dos and don’ts for using social platforms:
- Create positive content. Making a good impression online means showing that you’re interested in what’s going on in your industry. Post links to interesting stories and share relevant videos.
- Be interactive. Join conversations or debates in forums and blogs when appropriate. Make thoughtful comments and back up your points. Make connections with others in your field. Vote, “like,” and give kudos to credit others and point to useful content.
- Don’t post questionable photos or inappropriate jokes and unnecessary personal information such as drinking or drug-related content. What happens in Vegas, as they say, should stay in Vegas – don’t broadcast it on Twitter! Sex, politics and religion are topics to avoid. If you wouldn’t discuss it in a job interview, think twice about airing it in cyberspace.
- Don’t be narcissistic. Don’t post what you’re eating for lunch or complain that your flight was late. Don’t put up status reports asking for jobs. Don’t gossip or launch personal attacks.
- Google yourself. Know what’s on the Internet when people look for you.
Consider your activities on the web a part of your personal resume. They create a comprehensive image of who you are and what have both done personally and professionally.