In the modern age, being active on social media is often considered to be more of a requirement than an option. After all, if you don’t post it on Facebook or Instagram, did it really happen? Being an engaged social media user can be an be an excellent way to stay connected with friends and family — and it can allow you to connect with potential employers, too. In fact, 93% of recruiters from permanent and temp staffing companies scope out a candidate’s social media profile, and 70% of employers said they did the same in 2017. But in order to be successful in your job hunt, you’ll want to avoid committing the five following social media sins.
- Being Inconsistent: You’ll want to put your best foot forward on social media accounts used for work purposes. Your LinkedIn account will probably be the most formal of all your channels, and it’s fine to be a bit more casual everywhere else. However, no one should have to wonder whether the same person is running all of your accounts due to inconsistency. Update your account handles to something simple and professional. You’ll also need to be certain to update your work history information so that everything matches across all platforms (even if you rarely use some of them). If you don’t, an employer or job agency might think you’re being dishonest about your experience.
- Failing to Proofread: Internet-speak has really become its own language, but that doesn’t give you license to forgo all the rules. A profile riddled with spelling errors and improper grammar won’t do you any favors. A job agency or employer may take one look and dismiss you right away as a candidate. While you might not think punctuation or typos matter, the truth is that they can make you look lazy or uneducated (even if nothing could be further from the truth). Most employers want candidates who can communicate well, even if writing isn’t part of your actual job. If this isn’t your strong suit, enlist a friend to proofread and correct any issues.
- Being Too Negative: It might feel good in the moment to vent on social media. But don’t forget that the internet is forever. One moment of frustration could risk your chance of securing permanent or temporary job placement. A status update or Instagram post that seems rather innocuous could end up being misconstrued or held against you in some way, particularly if it could be seen as discriminatory. And if you’ve complained about a previous position or employer, that’s not going to go over well, either. If it seems like you have a bad attitude or are difficult to work with, you’re going to have a tough time finding a job agency that will work with you.
- Sharing Too Much: While recruiters and employers do want to see that you’re active on social media, you could be guilty of posting too much. Sharing every single meme you come across or posting pointless statuses for attention won’t put you in the best light. While cutting down on excessive posting is usually a good idea, you should also make sure to adjust your privacy settings so that you can restrict certain posts so that only your friends can see them and make only the best posts available to the public.
- Shutting Down Channels: Some people assume that they should simply delete all of their accounts to avoid making a mistake. But this in itself is an error that could cost you a job. Having no social media presence at all might be a red flag to employers. At the very least, it could be a determining factor in whether to even grant you an interview. Rather than getting rid of social media completely, conduct a careful assessment of your accounts and make sure everything that’s publicly visible is positive, consistent, and accurate.
If you commit these social media sins, you might find your resume ends up in the reject pile before you even land an interview. But if you follow the rules, you’ll be in good shape when you’re trying to work with a job agency or apply for available positions.