Some employers are now looking at your social media profiles before reaching out to extend you an offer. The last thing you’d want is to lose the job because of something you yourself posted online.
Be mindful of how you’d like to be represented.
Your profile photo should represent your best self. Therefore, a photo from a night out with friends may not be the best option. As a rule of thumb, it should be a photo that you’re fine with your boss seeing. You should tailor your photo to be appropriate for the platform you are using. So for sites such a LinkedIn, unless your profession is on the more creative side, we would recommend business casual attire at the minimum. For sites such as Facebook, a more casual look is acceptable as long as it can’t be perceived in a negative manner.
Keep in mind what platform you’re using.
Some platforms are professional, while others are more personal, meaning that there is a great deal of content that should not be shared on both. LinkedIn was created as a social media platform for professional business use, so anything you post there should be related to your experiences, professional accomplishments, and professional interests. More personal items, such as photos from your vacation or talking about your hobbies, should be left to sites such as Facebook or Instagram.
Follow etiquette when engaging in conversations.
Try to be articulate when you post – avoid using too much slang, and certainly refrain from using slurs or obscenities. Engaging in conversations is encouraged and a great way for you to connect with and expand your network. However, try to avoid talking about topics such as religion or politics, and don’t engage in arguments. Posts that may come off as strongly opinionated may be a red flag to potential future employers.
Take advantage of their privacy settings.
All social media platforms have different settings to hide some information from those you’re not connected to. If you don’t want a potential employer seeing personal information, this is the perfect way to do it. Say someone tagged you in a photo, you can remove it. If you don’t want them to view your vacation photos you decided to share online, hide the album.
Certain platforms, such as Facebook, allow you to sort people you’re connected to into groups. You can then show and hide content that you post from specific groups, making this an easy way to control who can see your activity.
Keep in mind that these aren’t foolproof, and the best way to prevent people from seeing potentially embarrassing pictures or posts is to simply not upload them in the first place, so you should always think twice before posting something.