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HOW SOCIAL MEDIA CAN DAMAGE YOUR CAREER

  • JWB Post
  •  February 3, 2014

One in five hiring managers said they found something on a social profile that influenced the hiring decision positively. These included the candidate conveying a professional image, getting a good feel for a candidate’s personality, candidates with well-rounded interests, background information supporting professional qualifications, creativity, great communication skills, and other people posting good references about the candidate.

When you consider that two in five companies are using social media to research job candidates, it makes sense to be a bit more cautious when posting online. Ask yourself, “How does this post make me look to a prospective employer?” and if the answer is anything but “really good”, rather mark it as private. Here is a look at some social media practices that can get you into hot water at work.

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Inappropriate Language:

It’s pretty obvious but swearing on your social media profiles is a massive turn-off for employers, as is inappropriate language in general so be careful. Now, no one’s saying you can’t say what you want to say (within reason!) on your Twitter and Facebook accounts… but if you’re actively looking for a new job, it might be time to review you privacy settings to ensure they can’t be found by a potential employer.

Public Bad-mouthing Of Your Current Employer: 

Yes, we all have bad days at work and some of us even take to social media to vent our frustrations – but again, you need to be careful! Not only is bad-mouthing your current employer in public bad practice, it’s also extremely risky. Not only do you risk your potential new employer seeing it, but you also risk your current one spotting it too – which means there’s a chance you could be leaving your current place of work sooner than you think.

Poor Spelling:

A recent poll showed that employers are put off when they see a candidate’s social media profile that is littered with spelling mistakes and typos. Why? Because it suggests they’re not conscientious and have poor attention to detail. The solution? Take a few seconds to read over what you’ve written to check for spelling mistakes (most have spell check built in these days) before you post.

Tagging of Inappropriate Photos:

We’ve all been there – you go out for a ‘quiet few’ on a Saturday night and the next day there’s some terrible pictures on Facebook. Now, while there’s nothing wrong with this, you’ve got to admit – it doesn’t look great to a potential employer. The solution? Either make all your photos private – or change your settings so you have to approve any photos you’re tagged in before they get published on your Timeline.

Bare LinkedIn Profile:

9 times out of 10, your LinkedIn profile is the one that a potential employer is going to check out first so you need to make sure it’s filled in properly and it’s up to date. What’s that? You don’t need to because you have an up to date resume? Wrong! Remember, your resume is limited to two pages so there’s only going to be so much information you can include – on the other hand, you have an unlimited amount of space on your LinkedIn profile so you can really write a detailed description of your key skills and work history. Oh, and don’t forget to pick some quality recommendations up, sooner rather than later!

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Lying:

Another common mistake many young professionals make is lying to employers and being caught on social media. Lie can be about family, love relations, previous jobs etc. Let your resume, interview and social media profiles sing in the same voice.

Sharing Protected Information

One of the easiest ways to get into trouble at work due to your social networking activity is to share protected employer information with your list of friends or followers. Many people use social networking sites to vent, which often includes spouting off frustrations about their jobs. Unfortunately, if your complaint exposes protected company information, you can easily lose your job. Also if you disclose any secret information in order to show off or even have a good intention to help your friend while sharing some private data of your company, you are at high risk to lose job.

What Pages you like:

Your preference and choices are clearly visible through pages you like. Make sure they don’t pull your presentation down. So, sometimes making a favor to your friend and liking his ‘I hate my Boss’ page can cost you more than one click, but the kick by the recruiting manager.

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