PERKINS PROFESSIONAL SEARCH BLOG

Managing Social Media - April 28,20140 comments

Your reputation precedes you and these days it seems you can find everything you need to know about someone with a simple Google search (scary, but true). Because of this, your social media accounts essentially act as a digital resume, so it’s more important than ever to manage them carefully. A potential (or current) employer can learn a lot more about you by flipping through your Facebook photos or taking a peek at your Instagram account than they can by reading your resume.

If you’re seeking a job, going through the interview process or currently employed there are some rules you’ll want to follow to make sure what you are doing online doesn’t get you into trouble with your employer or ruin your chance at your dream job.

The Golden Rule of Social Media

You should never post anything on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,LinkedIN) that you wouldn’t want on the cover of a newspaper for everyone to see and read. Posting something personal or work related can have impact and repercussions if viewed by everyone. If would be embarrassed or ashamed then the golden rule is you shouldn’t post it. It’s a good measurement to decide what to and what not to share online.

Represent Your employer well

Once you’re employed you become a representative of that company. Not only are you posting online as yourself but now you represent your employer, the company and the brand as well. You will want to start thinking twice about listing anything that could be misunderstood or received in a negative way. Not only could it cause you embarrassment but it could also reflect negatively on the company or employer who pays your salary. If you’re interviewing, you’ll want to make sure your social media accounts reflect the professional, mature and tasteful person you are. Employers can and will do their research on potential candidates.

Keep Negativity To Yourself

If you find yourself frustrated with a coworker or a client is driving you crazy, we suggest keeping your thoughts to yourself and not sharing them with the world on Facebook and Twitter. Ask yourself, “Would I be comfortable sharing those thoughts in a meeting? Or directly with the person who I’m talking about?” If the answer is no, then log-out and back away from the computer. Posting something negative about a co-worker (or worse a client) not only reflects badly on you personally but looks very unprofessional to your current or future employers as well.

During Work Hours

It’s one thing to post a photo of something you saw or ate on your lunch break but it’s a completely different thing to be tweeting and posting on Facebook constantly throughout the workday. Are you working during work hours or spending your time on social media? You don’t want to give the impression that you’re not doing your job. If you’re posting a new Facebook status every hour, it could get back to your employer that you’d rather be updating your profile instead of doing your job.

Confidentiality

What happens in the office should stay at the office. Employers and companies value their employees ability to keep confidential information. Many companies require their employees to sign a confidentiality agreement because the nature of the business can deal with personal information or be extremely privacy sensitive. Perhaps your employer is pursuing a new partnership or hiring a new manager and they’re not yet ready to release that information to the public. Perhaps the partnership is not yet official or the new manager has not accepted the position and you’ve posted that news on your social media accounts. Now what? How does this reflect on your company and employer should the news get out? Until the news is official and made public by your employer it’s good practice to keep company information and news confidential.

Keep it Private

Should you decide that you’d like to keep your personal life private from co-workers and employers we suggest keeping your social media accounts private. We recommend adjusting your privacy settings in case someone decides to do some research on you and a potential employer doesn’t come across photos of you at your best friends bachelor or bachelorette party!

Always be Professional

Even if you’ve set your privacy settings so your accounts are not public you should still maintain your professionalism at all times. Settings on social media can change at any time and you cannot control what your friends or followers post about you. This doesn’t mean you cannot be yourself but just be aware that we live in a world that is increasingly being shared online and what was once thought private now has the potential to reach many, many people, including your employer.

Do you have any more tips to add to our list of social media awareness please leave them in the comments below.

 

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