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4 Things to Avoid on Social Media

July 16, 2015

Most of us have social media accounts in some form or another. We’ve all heard that employers will search for us on social media as part of the interview process. Many companies have policies to not review the social media accounts of prospective hires; however, that doesn't prohibit them searching your name. So, we want to get that job without having to delete of all our accounts and leave the 21st century, but what do we need to avoid?

First of all, avoid saying or sharing anything inappropriate, racist, judgmental or hateful. The old saying “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” still applies even in adulthood. Know that anything you post online could potentially seen by coworkers, employers, people you’ve asked to be references, and even your family members. Treat your online spaces like an extension of your resume and make sure they’re clean and professional.

Avoid talking about the details of your work or your company. No matter where you are currently working or where you hope to someday be working, be extremely mindful of what you say online that’s related to work.

John, a hiring expert from Textron, advises: “I would recommend reading your company’s guidelines if they have them, but in general I would air on the side of caution when posting anything related to your work, especially including wages, or to your company on your personal social media site, unless it is conducted in a professional manner.” Your social media channels should be distinctly different from the social media channels of your company or organization. Judith from Verizon warns, “Be careful not to speak on "behalf" of your company unless that's within the scope of your job.”

Avoid sharing all of your photos. “I would go into the job search with the assumption that any potential employer can see your social media posts, so I would be very aware about any pictures or postings that are available through these outlets,”  Kacie, a hiring expert from Mutual of Omaha, says. Photos of your latte or your dog or your latest hiking trip? Totally fine. Photos of you and all your friends crowded around a bar with empty glasses in hand? Maybe just save that for your eyes only.

Avoid a total lack of an online presence. It may seem like the best option during your job hunting is to shut down all of your accounts to be safe, but hiring experts don’t think that’s the best option either. Dustin from Hewlett-Packard says: “While having zero online presence won't get you in trouble, it may not help you increase the opportunities for recruiters or others to contact you or become familiar with your career goals and aspirations. A well curated online presence can be an edge during the hiring process so take advantage.”

You don’t need to go in the dark to be safe during your job hunt or working days, just be aware of what you’re posting, be professional always, and be sure to err on the side of caution with the content you’re sharing.

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