Image via WikipediaI've talked about social media a lot on this blog because I think that the more people use social media the more it can affect your professional image. I've talked about using Facebook for professional use and about how employers do use social media to find out what you are like by looking at sites like Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn. Employers may not be able to legally use social media as a reason for not hiring you in Canada, but they can use it as a reason to dig a little deeper to find a legitimate reason not to hire you. Don't add fuel to the fire by using social media irresponsibly. And if you're already employed, you can learn a lot about what people think about your company by monitoring social media.
But there are some serious mistakes that are being made out there! Want to know what they are? Ask yourself if any of these things apply to you:
- Posting inappropriate material: Save your off color jokes for a night out with friends. Don't share pictures that you wouldn't want your mom to see or your pastor or your grandma! I hate to say it but...try to be politically correct.
- Following or Friending large amounts of people and not contributing to the conversation: If you're on social media don't be the voyeur. Take part in conversations, share ideas and information. Otherwise you are just that creepy guy/girl at the party that stands just within hearing distance but never says a word and then dashes off the second that someone asks their opinion. That's just weird.
- Coming off as desperate: If you are constantly begging for work you are using social media wrong. Sure, you want people to know that you are available but don't sound like you'll do anything for any amount of money. Talk about other things like how you are continuously learning or what you are learning or offer to help someone.
- Being a taker and never a giver: Yes, you are on social media to get help but aren't you smart and knowledgeable and willing to help others, too? Don't always be the one that takes. Make time to give, too.
- Not retweeting or sharing: Remember that others are out there to benefit from social media, too, so if you're on Twitter, retweet information that is useful for your followers. If you are on Facebook share when someone else posts good info. When you do this, people will be more likely to retweet and share what you post, too.