By Devin Stabley-Conde, Premium Content Writer, Hubshout
Whether you believe it or not, employers will often look through social media profiles to determine whether someone is a good fit for the company or not. According to JobVite, 93% of recruiters say they currently use or plan to use social media for hiring. Social media can be a confusing mass of opinions and information, but that doesn’t matter so much as how you conduct yourself on the platforms you use.
Three Social Media Dos and Don’ts
Do: Create a Professional Image
Social media is your resume, and as with any resume, it should convey professionalism, education, and marketable skills. Employers aren’t scanning your social media profiles for problems — they’re looking to see how you live your day-to-day life. If you make it clear that you can conduct yourself in a professional and composed manner on social media, you’re more likely to get that job offer.
Don’t: Make Your Life a Non-Stop Party
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. On social media, that’s absolutely true. According to SEO provider HubShout’s June 2016 Social Media Conduct Survey, only 5.3% make the mistake of posting too many pictures related to alcohol or party culture. While it’s more than acceptable to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and share a picture of it, drunken selfies from parties and bars may not be the best choice of content.
Do: Be Public
HubShout’s survey asked, “If you plan to continue to post things that might be a turnoff to potential employers, WHY?” The survey found that 34.6% said it’s because “My social media accounts are private.” However, privacy on the Internet only covers so many things. Keeping a public profile lets employers know that you can conduct yourself in a professional manner and are willing to let them see it. On the other hand, a private profile and a history of unprofessional conduct may imply that you have something to hide.
Don’t: Post Offensive Content
More than one in five respondents (23.1%) said “Yes,” when HubShout asked “Do you ever post information or photos that could be offensive to others?” It’s difficult to get away from political debate, but resorting to offensive comments is not the answer. Take Wendy Bell, for example. Although she is an award-winning journalist, she was fired over a social media post considered by many, including her employer, to be racist and offensive.
Do: Use Good Grammar
Though Internet slang has taken on a mind of its own, it’s important to remember use of proper grammar is an indication of your conduct and communication skills. According to careerbuilder.com, 29% of employers do not like to see posts that demonstrate poor communication skills.
Don’t: Criticize Your Employer
Whenever you feel the urge to post a negative comment about your company, remember the phrase, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” Fortunately, most individuals seem to have a sound understanding of this. When responding to HubShout’s survey, only 8.1% of people said they’ve posted negative comments about their employers or colleagues via social media. If you have an issue with your employer or a colleague, follow your company’s complaint procedures and get it fixed, rather than taking out your anger on social media.
Social media is a great place to stay up to date on current events, connect with friends, and learn about events in your area. However, your actions speak to your character both on and off the computer.
Don’t forget: sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can get you fired. Be mindful of your social media activity!