Dramatic title. Dramatic subject.
It entertains us on train platforms, gives us the means to stalk the lives of people we haven’t seen in over a decade and, quite simply, is everyone’s favourite ego tool.
You may think your social media is a part of your personal life and has nothing to do with your career, but you’re wrong, very wrong! The truth is: social media operates as an extension of you. If your name is on your C.V, chances are you’ve been searched for across social media by potential employers.
An employer may look at your C.V and think you’re the perfect candidate until they see your ‘Drunk in Ibiza’ photo album.
Keep it non-controversial
Facebook has wizened up to this issue and has increased its security settings, so it’s very possible to bury your social media profiles from potential employers…but what of your social media profile when you’re already working?
It’s likely your colleagues and even your boss are connected to you via social media, so it’s best you keep controversial opinions to yourself.
There is nothing worse than walking into the office on Monday to twenty-two blank stares because you made an extreme Facebook statement on Friday night.
Be careful what you tweet or share and when you do it
It’s amazing how many careers, lives and reputations have been ruined in only 140 characters.
Keep personal use social media to a minimum or even off during working hours. Your boss won’t be best pleased if you’re re-tweeting cat pictures instead of finishing reports.
Use a separate email address for your job search / work
Software exists that can compile all social media accounts associated with an email address. If you made a joke Facebook profile a couple of years back using the same email you use in your business life you could potentially be putting your career at risk.
Make sure your profile picture is appropriate
Across social media profile pictures tend to be either difficult or impossible to hide from public view. It’s therefore imperative that your picture is one you’d be happy for your boss to see.
A good rule of thumb is to think to yourself ‘would I put this photo on LinkedIn’?
Keep your background information sensible
It may be funny to claim you hail from Middle Earth on your social media sites but it suggests to business professionals you don’t take yourself seriously.
Pretend you don’t have a job on your social media (yes, really)
It sounds a strange rule but it’s an effective one. Do not complain about your commute, do not complain about your colleagues (In fact unless you are friends outside work or have a personal relationship with them, don’t mention them at all. It’s rude if nothing else) and definitely don’t make derogatory statements about your job.
Of course your sidebar has your work information in it but other than that, for all your friends and followers know, you simply disappear off the face of the Earth between the hours nine to five every week day.