When it comes to our careers, we always want to put our best foot forward. But today's technology tends to blur the lines between work life and personal life, and sometimes what we do or say on social media can directly impact (and even cost us) our jobs. You've likely been warned before that most employers Google their potential hires before an interview, but even once you've secured the job, your online presence can have an influence on how you're perceived. There are a number of social media mistakes that can hurt your job search and career but there are five major ones to be avoided. Studying up on these no-nos and staying savvy about how you conduct yourself online can be the difference between landing your dream job and never scoring an interview, or even getting let go from your current company. Head below to read up on the social media mistakes most likely to cost you the job.
1. Posting unprofessional material. It should go without saying that even on private platforms, how you represent yourself online has the potential to get back to your current and future employers. Use your best judgment before posting anything on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on. Even with your privacy settings, imagine if your boss were to take a scroll through your feed. Are you representing yourself in the best light? Illicit behavior and profanity are obvious things to avoid, but
2. Not curating past posts. Just because you're currently committed to keeping a clean image on social media doesn't mean that past post can't come back to haunt you. Go back through earliest days on each platform to delete or hide any posts that aren't favorable for your career. Keep in mind that friends' posts and tags can also pop up when an employer searches for you, so do a thorough clean out of any undesirable material from yesteryear.
3. Posting when you should be working. Unless your job requires you to post on your personal platforms during work hours, it's best to stay off social media when you're at the office (or taking a sick day). Also be aware that the timestamps on your posts, whether accurate or not, can paint a picture. Be cognizant of how your check-ins, tweets, and even comments might be perceived by others.
4. Inconsistency. Your social media presence is your personal brand. Even if you have different followers for each account or even tailoring your content to different audiences, your presence across all platforms should still be coherent as a whole. Furthermore, even though LinkedIn may be reserved for networking and employers, you should make sure what you write on your other sites is consistent with the information you present on your professional profile.
5. Having no social media presence at all. Just as having a careless social media presence can threaten your career, failing to have one at all is also frowned upon by employers. “Many employers won’t consider someone who doesn’t have a social media presence," says Peter Mendez, CEO of Crafted NY. "Besides, there’s so much good that having a social media presence can do for your career." Just post wisely and with intention, always keeping in mind that everything is accessible to your current and future employers.
Too late? Here's how to survive a social media mishap.