As social media grows in popularity, more employers are beginning to use platforms such as LinkedIn as a way of screening candidates. This guide will ensure your social media profiles are ready for a professional setting.
The bulk of professional engagement on social media occurs through LinkedIn, as it is used as a tool for networking and recruiting in many industries. Here are some top tips to ensure your profile presents you in the best light.
With regards to posting on the site, avoid anything non-work related as LinkedIn is not Facebook. It is a much more professional platform and should be treated as such. This means you should avoid “selfies”, updates on your social life and any sort of political affiliations. Also, avoid contacting other users for anything other than professional matters. Messages sent with a purely social intent are not well received and should not be the way in which you use the messaging feature.
This is one of the platforms that many people, both in and out of employment, make mistakes on; with many examples of people losing their jobs over interactions on the site. Some ways to avoid these pitfalls are:
In the long run, it would be highly beneficial to keep both your real name/face from your profile and set the profile to private. This will aid in stopping anything controversial or inappropriate which you may post being tied back to you. Setting your profile to private will not only stop internet trolls and a fair amount of unwanted negative posts being targeted at you, but will also prevent anyone who you have not approved, viewing your profile.
This is the platform where mistakes most often occur. There are several steps you can take to ensure your Facebook profile does not lead to any negative situations in the workplace or during the application process. These include:
On this platform, it is best to err on the side of caution. Facebook offers the facility to view your profile as a member of the public who is not on your friends list. Use this feature, as it will allow you to see your profile as a potential employer would, and thereby enable you to adjust your content accordingly.
It is unlikely that an employer will check your Instagram page as it is not often a platform of interest. Despite this, photos taken during nights out, or that are in an any way suggestive, are unsuitable if your profile is public, and I would strongly recommend either removing these or changing the privacy settings on your profile. If you have any doubts with regards to how appropriate your photos are, don’t risk it and set your profile to private.
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