A great way for employers to learn about candidates is through online resources, especially social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. In fact, CareerBuilder.com reports that in order to make a good impression on your prospective employer, it is important to manage your online presence. Follow these guidelines to avoid a negative presence.
- It may be a funny inside joke between you and your friends, but don’t post anything inappropriate on Facebook walls, tweets or on your status updates. You never know who is reading them, including employers!
- Posting photos of risky or illegal behavior can be very damaging to your professional presence.
- Be careful who you tag. Remember to be courteous and think of your friends’ images before posting inappropriate photos of them. Also, be careful who you ‘friend’, what you ‘like’, groups you join, comments or blogs you make, or those you add to your network.
- Being on social media sites doesn’t give you a pass to use poor grammar. Take a few seconds to edit all of your posts to make sure you don’t make simple mistakes.
- If you are still employed or under contract at another job, be very private and careful if you use social media for job searching purposes.
- Make sure you manage your privacy settings on all your online accounts.
- Be careful of negative communication. Complaining is not professional, especially when you announce your complaints online.
- Remember that LinkedIn is a professional social media site! It is not a place to talk about personal interests, your feelings, relationship status, etc.
- If you include a profile photo on your social media account, make sure it is either a professional headshot (preferred) or another form of you dressed professionally.
Overall, everything you do online stays online. This online information also plays an important part in how others perceive you personally and professionally. By maintaining a consistent, positive and professional online presence, you will avoid burning bridges to your future.