Social media has become an integral part of our lives. Can you even imagine attending an event without taking a selfie and posting it on Instagram or Facebook?! The problem is that sharing all of this information with the world can have consequences. Many employers conduct social media checks on applicants that they are considering hiring. The question it...would you pass the social media check? Here are some tips that will allow you to use social media without it impacting your career prospects:
Manage your privacy settings. You can avoid most problems on social media just by paying attention to your privacy settings. This gives you control over who sees your profile, posts, and pictures which protects you from those nosy employers. If you effectively manage your privacy settings, you don't have to worry too much about your social media presence impacting your career.
Reconsider your 'friend' list. Your privacy settings will only help you if you carefully monitor your friend list. If you are only allowing your 'friends' to see your social media posts, then it doesn't make sense to 'friend' anyone who asks. Depending on what you are posting online you may not want to include your coworkers, supervisor, or work connections on your friend list.
Your photos don't present a good image. Nothing destroys a reputation quicker than a photo. Photos are powerful and they can spread across the internet like wildfire. Even if you limit your privacy settings, your friends could still share one of your photos making it accessible through a simple Google search. As much as possible, be aware of the photos that are being taken of you and make sure that they present you in a positive way.
You seem like a jerk. How to mess up on social media...there are more ways than you can count. But what it all comes down to is 'Don't be a jerk!' If you don't come across as mean, judgemental, irresponsible, or crude, it's unlikely that social media will give you any problems.
Social media does not have to be a problem for your job search but it does require that you be mindful. Whenever you are posting, take a moment to consider how a potential employer might perceive it. Also, if you haven't already done so, review your privacy settings.
(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)