If you're not online, you don't exist. This statement is increasingly true for today's job seeker. It is more important than ever that you have a professional online presence. The problem is that there are lots of pitfalls that can turn your social media presence into a liability. Here are some mistakes to avoid so that you pass the social media screen:
Be consistent. If your social media presence does not match your resume, it will raise doubts about your integrity. Your resume, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles should all be telling the same story.
Keep it professional. A picture is worth a thousand words. However, if the picture is provocative or it shows you drinking or doing drugs, the employer may not be able to get it out of their head. You are also unlikely to recover from offensive or discriminatory comments.
Communicate well. It may not be fair but employers will use your social media posts to evaluate your communication skills. Make sure that everything that you post is well written, spelled correctly, and free of typos.
Show passion for your career. You don't want to come across as a weekend warrior who is full of passion...but not for your career. You don't have to talk about work all the time, but your LinkedIn posts should be relevant to your industry. Also it doesn't hurt to post something career related on Twitter and Facbook every now and then.
Bad mouthing your employer. Don't do it. There's not much more to say.
When you consider all of the potential pitfalls with social media, you may be tempted not to engage. However, this is not the right approach. If you are mindful of everything that you post and you consider it from the employer perspective, you can use your social media presence to open doors for you and to show the employer the person behind the resume.
(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of FrameAngel at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)