While social media can be an excellent way of promoting your individual brand and add a personal context to your CV, it also has the potential to significantly damage your online reputation and may hinder you in your search for your next role. There is no way of knowing what the long term implications of posting content online will be, a status or photo that may seem harmless at the time may discourage a future employer from taking you seriously, or considering you for the position at all.
Protect your online reputation
According to research conducted by cyber security experts Norton, millennials need to be more conscious about their digital footprint. More than a quarter of 18-34 year olds have no idea what appears when their name is searched online, and perhaps more worryingly 48% of hiring managers indicated that they chose not to take on an applicant after discovering something on their social platforms. Moreover social media is a standard used by recruiters to help them select appropriate candidates for interview. So how can you manage your online reputation, and ensure that it bolsters your CV, rather than hinders your job prospects?
Start by googling yourself. This is the first step that any recruiter or potential employer will take, so it’s important that you know what they’re likely to find. As the number of social media profiles we have steadily increases, so too does the amount of information potential employers are able to find out. So it’s important to check your privacy settings. While you may want to have more professional platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter open to the public, it’s unlikely that you’ll want employers to be able to trawl through your personal photos on Facebook or Instagram.
What would a potential employer think?
It’s also worth considering the type of content you are posting on your profiles and the impression this might give to a future employer. It’s definitely not advisable to post potentially embarrassing photos on any of your public profiles, or to ignore unprofessional ones you might have been tagged in. In addition it’s worth bearing in mind how a rant about how awful your day at work has been might look to someone thinking about hiring you. Impulsive updates are also not a good idea – take Donald Trump for example, who has launched countless Twitter rants and now faces a serious backlash which is likely to hurt his campaign for the most powerful job in the world.
Social media can be great at demonstrating your personality, however in terms of advancing your career it’s important that you find the right balance between personal and professional updates. You might want to tweet pictures of the salad you had for lunch, but you might want to counter that with a link to a recent blog you have written, or write about a professional development course you went on recently. For every five updates you post, it’s recommended that at least one is directly related to your career or personal development, that way an employer only has to scroll through your most recent updates to know you are hardworking and committed to your role.
Finally, make a note of who you are regularly engaging with on Twitter, if you are retweeting or sharing friends’ updates it’s vital that you consider how these might reflect on you. Try to engage with industry professionals or get involved with live chats to show that you are actively engaging with relevant sector conversations.
Don’t let your reputation be tarnished through social media
Social media can be great for interacting with friends, however it can also be a professional minefield so ensure you always remain conscious about how a potential employer may view your online profile, and make sure your profiles and privacy settings are all in order before beginning to search for a new role.
For more tips from the Clayton Recruitment team click here. And if you’re looking for your next role we should be talking. Get in touch today or take a look at our vacancies here.