The Professional Gal.
A mixture of insight, a different dose of perspective, a touch of wisdom, and mostly concern...
Social media, what a wonderful thing! If you’re smart…
But if you are one of those people (a recent college grads, a young adult, or someone how loves to share) looking for employment and ready to start your profession, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram can be your ultimate demise.
Recruiters, not only from employers seeking good candidates, but also from colleges and universities are increasingly utilizing social media to gain a better insight into their potential employees or students.
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Now let’s take a momement and think about all the changes that have occurred only on Facebook, as far are someone’s ability to see your information… The timeline, friends of friends, and new privacy statements-how private is your Facebook profile?
Oh now remember those parties from your college years, better yet… remember those pictures?
Oh wait! How about that obscene or vulgar post you or your friend posted on your wall?
Have you deleted those? Did you double check!?
What about your twitter post… (Ok I know those can only be 65 characters, but you can do a lot of damage in 65 characters).
Now try “google-ing,” “Yahoo!-ing,” “Ask.com-ing” your name, and see what comes up? Hopefully not your Facebook and Twitter accounts. If so, immediately change your privacy settings.
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Oh yea! What about your email address? Is that professional too??? Example: firstname.lastname@example.org or is it something more similar to email@example.com.
Yea, about that… can’t use that one on a resume or application that you want a positive response to.
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1. Truly avoid controversial topics on social media.
a. I know this takes a lot of the fun out of it, but voice your opinion when you are not attempting to look for gainful employment. Therefore, avoid all taboo topics (politics-yes, especially during election season- and demeaning religious statements). You never know what bridges you’re burning or who is seeing this information that may very well disagree with you.
2. NEVER talk negatively about your past employer or current employer.
a. It really makes you look bad. If you are employed and talk about your current employer, you may very well lose your job or the respect of your co-workers. If you are looking for a job and talking about a former employer, it shows a true lack of professionalism. Your better than that!
3. Take down ALL inappropriate pictures.
Rule of thumb, if you don’t know that it is inappropriate, then DON’T post it. You want your employer or future employer to see you as professional, not as someone who may have a drinking habit? Someone who loves to take pictures of themselves in a swimsuit/lingerie in their bathroom mirror? Your boss or future boss could see these and you want to be known for your brain not your body.
4. Don’t post while you are at work, if you company has a policy on phone. It’s an easy way to be terminated. Further don’t post a picture of yourself at work, saying you’re working. This is just not professional, unless you have a professional only page. (I have seen it done!)
5. Please do not over share.
Sometimes we tend to talk too much about our personal lives over social media. Avoid this, for your own sake. You never know how someone may perceive the information that you are sharing. So if you’re fighting with your best friend, do it over the phone or personal email. Do not give anyone any ammunition to make you look bad.
6. Perception Is Reality.
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Doing things of this nature can keep you from find a good job. But worse, these things can drastically stunt a person’s growth potential with an employer. Just exercise solid common sense (even though it does not seem all that common anymore) and good rational judgment.
Now… I have to be honest. I have made a number of these mistakes. However, I was lucky enough to have someone call me out on them, before anyone else could see it or it impacted someone’s perception of me. I am just arming you with this information. And pass it along if you know someone who may need to here this. (It is graduation time and there is no better gift than knowledge!)
This is not 100% necessarily about your professional image. This is also a safety issue too. Some people are truly crazy, and we are putting way to much out there for someone to use. Really! Are Facebook and Twitter worth it?!?! Be safe and smart!
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Be a part of a team. Lead with integrity. Remain committed to your core values.
The Young & Professional Gal