Social Media Etiquette & Employment

With so many social media apps and websites available, it may feel overwhelming to navigate through them. You may also wonder how your activity could affect future opportunities, especially if you are in the midst of a job search. It is very common for potential employers to review your social media handles in the process of researching your background. If you are currently employed, one inappropriate online exchange could be uncovered and lead to problems on the job. Although social sites are meant to be fun, candid, and interactive, it is still essential to be mindful of what you post. Here are tips on how to enjoy popular apps without negatively impacting your career.

Clean up Your Facebook
Facebook can be a powerful networking tool, and it is usually the easiest way to learn about someone on social media. Privacy and security measures have improved over the years, but it’s still important to review your posts. If you choose to make your profile public as opposed to being visible only to friends, potential employers are likely to check it out. A good practice is to go through all of your status updates and posts and make sure they are not inappropriate or inflammatory. Remove party photos, scantily clad snapshots, and rants that may not reflect you in an ideal manner. If you cannot part with your content, consider altering your view settings. Images that are not profile photos can be set to “friends only” or be made entirely private.

Keep LinkedIn Professional
LinkedIn is a pioneer in career networking that bridges the gap between industry connections. You can research companies, job searches, or interact with your coworkers. Although the site is formatted similarly to Facebook (status updates, photo upload, video options – all in a feed), it is intended for professional interactions. Make sure that your profile reflects your career experience, and omit overly personal information. Your profile photo should be a simple headshot; stray away from selfies, group shots, or anything that looks too casual. When posting a status update – always ask yourself whether it is strictly business-related or educational. Content about enrichment, local and national initiatives, industry trends, and work events are usually a safe bet. When on this site, it is a good idea to stray away from politics (unless relevant), casual banter, and personal anecdotes.

Filter Instagram
Unless you run an Instagram business page, it’s safe to say that this app is designed for social networking among friends. Although it is not necessarily expected for your feed to be safe for work, it is still beneficial to consider what you post. Be mindful of your story settings; if your profile is public, anyone can see it regardless of whether they follow you. Enable the “close friends” setting, to direct all video clips to that audience only. When it pertains to your photo feed, try to err closer to the safe side. Showing too much skin, highlighting a house party, or any other weekend activities can send the wrong message were an employer to find your account.

Think Before You Comment
A major way to derail your career success when on social media is to leave negative comments or post lengthy rants. This is especially true in a climate where one witty critique can go viral and be seen not only by your employer but also the world at large. Due to sharing culture, an online fight can be saved and shared, and many people are liable to add in their two cents. Worst case scenario, a misguided statement left on a personal page or business page can be regarded as bullying. As a society, numerous efforts are being made to curtail online harassment and protect others. If you are job searching, it is not far-fetched for a potential employer to access and review your online discussions, even from years ago!

Are you looking to advance your career? Goodwill provides no-cost career services for anyone seeking employment or a higher-paying job. We offer job seekers the tools and resources to feel confident, purpose-driven, and successful. Goodwill’s My Career Advisor is the best place to start if you’re planning for the future. Signing up is quick, easy, and free.

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