We’ve all been reading about Gary Lineker’s political tweet, with unfavourable consequences!! And the new impending rule that TikTok will be banned from all government phones, (mainly for data leaking), but reinforces how impactful social media can be.
Social media can be a useful tool for networking or promoting your work but there can also be a very negative effect on your professional reputation and career prospects. Whilst your fingers can crawl across your keyboard in seconds, the impact you make can last for a very long time…. Or forever!
It seems like the simplest rule, but many people overlook the obvious here and don’t pay too much attention to what they post. Content that is inappropriate or offensive can be easily shared and seen by potential employers and co-workers.
An increasing percentage of recruiters will check a potential candidates’ social profile prior to interviewing, and if they don’t like what they see, you will be disregarded immediately. The biggest no no’s are inappropriate videos or photos including drinking and drugs, (no surprise here) and offensive or racist comments on other peoples posts. It’s crucial to remember that whilst you are doing your research on potential employers, they are checking you out too.
If you are in a senior position within your workplace, your social media activity shouldn’t discredit this. Many companies now have specific codes of conduct informing employees what type of social media is allowed. Stick to the rules!
And whilst we preach how careful you must be with your digital presence; it is also important to highlight that having a presence is equally important. If you are digitally invisible, you could be deemed as not up to speed with technology. So, ensure your platforms are clean and fine-tune your privacy settings so you get potential employers to see what YOU want them to see.
Be active, relevant and keep content up to date on your chosen platforms. It’s great to present yourself as someone that is up to date in your industry and connected with peers in your sector, and of course employers do want to see a playful or creative side of your personality.
Used correctly, social media certainly has a place to enhance your professional capabilities.