Have I told you that I love social networking? If not, I do. I enjoy using Facebook and other social media in order to keep in touch with friends and family. I love to see what other people are posting and keep up with what’s going on in the world. It’s really awesome to see what social media has done to our society and how it’s made the world smaller.
One thing that many people don’t realize is that social media can also be a bit risky. I’m not trying to make you paranoid, I’m just telling you how it really is out there. The part of social media risk that we’re going to look at is how it could possibly hurt your job hunt. Here are a few hints and tips for keeping yourself “safe” during a job hunt.
– Keep your settings on “friends only.” Don’t do this with everything; that can start to look a little fishy. But it’s okay to make your pictures and statuses friends only. Granted, this bit of advice definitely isn’t an end all; potential employers can find other ways to get that information.
– Watch out for those old pictures. Have you had your Facebook since college? Make sure that there aren’t any old pictures floating around of you at the frat party or doing other silly things that a lot of college kids do. Untag yourself, delete old pictures off of your albums or set the albums to private, do whatever you have to do in order to make sure that you don’t get yourself in trouble during a job hunt. Once again, employers can still find some of these things, but honestly, if there’s no immediate red flags during a social media search, they’ll leave it alone.
– Use LinkedIn as a professional meeting place. Don’t use LinkedIn like you do Facebook. Use it as if you’re at a professional meeting or gathering, without the optional bar that the hotel provides. Use it to make professional connections and to establish yourself. LinkedIn is meant for networking and reaching out for other people within your profession and/or career path. Use Facebook for silly stuff, keep all of that there with the college kids and the teenagers!
– Use common sense. Above all else, use some common sense when you use social media. If you’re a little concerned about the status or picture you’re posting, consider not posting it. If you think that your page may have incriminating or undesirable information on it, edit it. Use your head, and your social media should be perfectly acceptable when a potential employer checks it out.
What other tips would you have? Has social media ever hurt your chances at a job, or have you utilized it in order to help you out? Have you ever not worked with someone because of a social media mess? Leave your thoughts in the comments, enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend, and we’ll see you back here next week!