Are you using social media correctly?
In this day of modern technology, social media has become a crucial tool that can either make or break an individual’s personal brand. Your personal brand is out there for the rest of the world to see and that includes prospective employers.
We have seen recruiters increasingly checking the social media profiles of candidates, even when they are not provided, which means that your online presence might be affecting your job prospects. Whether you choose not to invest time into crafting your personal brand or you want to put in the effort to design a personal brand that speaks to your goals, you do need to clean up your online presence.
A poorly defined brand that conveys different messages and values can be detrimental to your career advancement. You’ll need to take into account who you are, how others perceive you, and who you want to become professionally. If you don’t define these things, the public will define them for you, by what is already available.
The following tips can help you use social media correctly:
Google yourself to see what your online presence looks like
People make decisions about you based on what they can find on the internet and 92% of companies use social media for recruiting. The easiest way for someone to check your credibility is through a simple Google search. Your online presence should add credibility to your CV, confirming who you say you are, and adding sophistication and authority to your personal brand. Ultimately, you want to make sure the information that a Google search brings up about you is accurate, updated, and reflective of your personal brand.
Understand privacy settings and use them effectively
Most social sites have effective privacy settings, yet, most users don’t understand how to use the privacy options properly. Privacy settings can be used to limit your audience, i.e. who can see your posts. It is advisable that you read the privacy setting terms and use those to your advantage. However, you must realise that your posts can then be shared. For example, your friend may take a screenshot of a private post and publish it publicly, and that brings us to the next point.
Practise caution about what you reveal about yourself online
What you post online can affect your career, because once something is out there on the internet, there is no getting it back. Even if you delete it, there is always a chance someone shared it or will find it. The fastest way to end your career before it has even started is to post inappropriate content on your social media platforms. You may be surprised to know that employers research you online before they invite you for an interview and this could very well be why you are not getting invited to an interview.
Your posts shouldn’t be hurtful or insulting
Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter have forums where people can share their thoughts on particular issues – content that you post on these forums will reflect your thinking and personality. While you are certainly entitled to your opinions and to share them, you must keep in mind that your posts might hurt or insult others. It can also give employers a negative opinion about you if the majority of your posts are negative.
While social media has become a crucial component in our daily lives, projecting a negative image online can greatly affect your personal brand. Some might argue that it is freedom of expression, but it is important to use privacy settings and to post personal information and opinions sparingly.
25 Apr 2018