Social media can be a mighty tool, helping you connect with recruiters, find job opportunities, and develop a professional reputation—if you do things the right way.It is also a medium for Professional Branding. It makes you visible to those who might need your services and you don’t want to be seen in a bad light .Here’s what to avoid as a Professional:
1.Not Being on Social Media
You do yourself a lot of good by being on social media especially those that allow you to network with other professionals.LinkedIn is an example of a social media platform whereby you can showcase your skills and experience and connect with recruiters.You could get endorsements from professionals whom you’ve worked for/ with also which even increases your reputation:your brand.
Apart from the benefits of being on social media, it is now expedient for job seekers and professionals to be on social media.Why? Most recruiters considers applicant non-existent if they do not have an online presence. So, you can’t just refuse to take part in social media and hope for the best—at least not professionally. To be ‘hirable’, you must be searchable. That means having an online presence, updating your social media profiles and feeds regularly, and interacting with people in your industry.
If you’ve somehow managed to avoid social media so far, the good news is that you have a clean slate. You may start building your online image now.
2.Posting Inappropriate Content
This is a major disqualifier. Nude or indecent pictures,pictures of alcohol and cigarettes,wild partying etc are a turn off for recruiters.Also, political arguments, vulgar words …should be avoided.
Also you should find out the Code of Conduct of your workplace (if you are working) and stick to the values so as not to misrepresent your organization in public.
Months back some female Nigerian Immigration Service officers took part in a challenge (“Bop Daddy”) and their content on social media was met with a strict action by the authorities. According to the Assistant Comptroller General of the NIS, Iam Haliru, the video of the NIS women “revealed a rather disturbing and embarrassing display of indecent flaunting of your bodies, desecration of service uniform/beret and the use of inappropriate language thereby, sabotaging the values upheld by the service.
They were asked to within 72hours give a representation as to why they should not be dismissed from the service.
When you search up your name? Most likely, there’s a ton of information, from tweets to photos. It’s quite easy for employers to find information you may have preferred to keep private. Much of it can be found by Googling your name. Be aware of what shows up, and if any photos or posts could handicap your job search, change your profile settings or delete the individual posts.
3.Inconsistent Professional Brand
While it’s okay if you are a teacher on your Facebook profile and a Professional Tutor on LinkedIn (perhaps you reworked your job description to fit a target job) it becomes inconsistent when dates,companies etc. don’t align.It means you are insincere and no one wants to employ such. That’s a red flag for prospective employers.
4. Posting Too Frequently (Especially During Work Hours for the employed ones)
Funny as it might sound it is a fact that posting too much (especially irrelevant contents) could make you look unserious to your prospective employer.
Why is frequent posting a problem? If it looks as if you spend all day on social media, your current or prospective employer might suspect that you’re not doing much else. This is especially a problem if you’re posting during the workday while you’re employed
5.Using Texting Language and Making Grammatical Blunders:
Yes it’s social media and it’s an informal platform,that’s true, but the truth is that it’s not just tour friends and family that would check you up .You need to brand (‘package’) yourself in such a way that you can attract the right people and opportunities.Avoid using texting language e.g ‘u’ instead of ‘you’.Then check your post over before posting to spot likely grammatical errors.
Are you going to take your social media image more professionally or are you going to work on your privacy settings? Either way, make sure your online image is better than it is now and enjoy the dividend!