By Clint Salter
I’m sure you’ve heard the story of the employee who called in sick who quickly got busted because they posted a picture of themselves relaxing on a beach to Facebook…forgetting of course that they have bosses and/or co-workers as friends. Or perhaps you have a friend who constantly complains about their workplace or colleagues online and they are such a downer you’ve had to hide them from your news feed.
As the social media platforms that allow us to share our lives with the universe evolve, everyone need to be extra careful with what is said or posted. The notion of “once it’s out there you can’t get it back” is increasingly true in the social media age.
I’m often shocked beyond belief when I scroll through my social media accounts to see the level of detail about personal situations, negativity or lack of clothing that clogs up my feeds.
Today, Recruiters and HR Managers are doing a full social media stalk of people applying for jobs. They feel like this provides a more accurate representation of the applicants over and above their CV. People often mention that they have ultra high security activated on their accounts which only allows connections to view their content. This may be beneficial at first, but many recruiters will take the view (correct or not) that if you’ve got nothing to hide then why all the security?
Here are my 5 tips to ensure you’re digital footprint isn’t sabotaging your career:
1. Love thy neighbour, not thyself
You know that extra-special “I’m so sexy I have to share it with the world” picture you posted? You know, the one at the beach or pool wearing next-to-nothing? What does your boss, or your potential boss, think about it? Get rid of it! Make sure that your profile is not full of selfies with head tilts and duck lips. Instead, post photos of you and your friends and family having a good time together! If you come across as so “into” yourself to potential employers, you will be kissing that job goodbye because no one wants to hire people that are that self-absorbed.
2. Curb Your Cravings
I love the saying “Don’t Facebook your problems, face them!” If you’ve had a bad day, been locked out of your house, had an average meal or are hungover from a big weekend…then call your friend and talk to them about it. Don’t jump straight on to social media and air your frustration. At the end of the day, does complaining to the world about all of your issues solve anything? Nope…but it DOES show the world that you love to whine and complain. Just the kind of person people want to hire, right?
3. Banned Back Stabbing
All relationships have stages when they’re not fun. As humans we all have our own thoughts and opinions of what is right. Inevitably this means that you will have a disagreement with someone at work, a friend, a lover or family member. Make a rule for yourself and ban writing anything about it since it will likely come around to bite you down the road.
4. Love Is In The Air
I love the work that I do and I post about it all the time. If you love your work and your clients this is certainly something your can share through social networks. Keeping things positive is always the way to go. However…be sure that you follow the social media rules set down by your company before discussing your clients…even if it’s a positive post.
5. Be You
Don’t be afraid to be yourself…just be aware of what you’re letting others know about you. Before you post anything have a quick think about if their could be a possible undesired outcome from putting your post out to the world. Will letting people know about your political or religious views do more harm than good? The odds are high that someone, somewhere will disagree with you so always make sure the posting is worth posting.
Make no mistake…what you put out for the world to see will be seen by the world! It’s not easy to hide your opinions, ignorance or poor attitude once it’s out there, so do yourself a favor and save yourself the headache. I’m not saying you should shut down all of your social media outlets! I’m simply saying that you need to use an extra dose of caution before you click “send”.