Every day, I browse through the three main platforms I use, and you should use, for career management: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. There isn’t a day that goes by without me finding someone who harms their personal brand, insults someone, or shares inaccurate information. Do they do it just to make me chuckle?
Social media is for communicating your brand and for sharing and relaying positive and educational messages, not for posting your personal feelings about religion, politics or other issues. Yes, you can have fun on social media, but be careful with your posts and presence. Remember, your social media accounts will be viewed, evaluated and scrutinized prior to all interviews today. Don’t cause yourself to be counted out of potential opportunities where you might be the perfect candidate simply because you posted something foolish or you don’t want to be present on the platforms. Here are three mistakes to avoid:
#1. Being non-existent
Several years ago, during my presentations, there was a time when I posed the question, “Who is not on LinkedIn?” Hands went up in masses. Today, I ask the same question and very few hands go up, which is good for all of us. If you are not on LinkedIn, as an expert in career management, I will tell you that you are committing career suicide. LinkedIn can bring you massive value. You have the opportunity to network with 600 million other users on this platform. It is the first stop an executive recruiter or HR professional makes in learning about you. I would very much encourage you to also be on Twitter and Facebook which are becoming increasingly important for viewing by career decision makers as they process your application or are looking for talent.
It is great to have a profile on all three of these platforms, but are you active on all three of these platforms? A big difference.
#2. Not being consistent
Again, a cause of joviality for me when I cruise through peoples’ profiles is seeing contradicting information listed on one of their profiles vs another with yet something completely different on their resume. What does this tell me if I was your career hiring influencer? It demonstrates a lack of attention to detail and indifference or sloppiness in the way you construct your communications throughout the platforms. Keep everything consistent while remaining positive.
#3. Sharing inappropriate content, comments and pictures
Don’t shy away from expressing your personality and opinions on various topics, but don’t focus solely on your beliefs as far as religion, ethics, politics or gender differences are concerned. Keep your posts to what a future employer or executive recruiter could warm up to and stay away from opportunities for employers to misinterpret your social media dialogue. Never give the impression that you could damage a potential employer’s reputation through online conversations. Be active. Be professional. Inject fun. Inject humour. Show that you are an expert and committed to keeping your career and your personal life in a positive light.