Mistakes to Avoid on Social Media

Social media can be a powerful tool when you’re looking for a job.  It allows you to connect with professionals in your industry that would otherwise be difficult to access.  However, social media has some unwritten rules and if you break them, you may leave employers with a negative perception.  Here are some common pitfalls to avoid when using social media to look for a job:

Posting unprofessional content.  Since you never know who might be looking at your social media sites, you need to be careful about what is posted.  Be particularly cautious about embarrassing photos or jokes that could be taken out of context.  You also need to monitor what your friends are posting on your sites.

Updating too much or not enough.  If you don’t consistently post on your social media sites, it becomes difficult for you to build your network.  Posting at least two or three times daily allows you to make connections and showcase your knowledge.  However, don’t post too much.  If you’re posting more than five times a day, you may start to lose followers.

Failing to be strategic.  Just being active on social media isn’t enough.  If you want to use it as an effective job search tool, you need to develop a plan.  Decide how you want to present yourself with your posts and  determine who you need to connect with to achieve your career goals.  Once you have a clear idea of your objectives, you can plan the posts that will help you achieve them.

Forgetting to monitor privacy settings.  Your privacy settings are what keeps the world from seeing content that was only meant for your friends and family.  For example, a mother may not want a prospective employer to know that she has young children.  If you want to maintain these boundaries, it is important that you regularly review the privacy settings on your sites and that you stay informed about any changes to the privacy policies.

Social media offers today’s job seeker unique opportunities, but with it comes some risk.  If you are vigilant, strategic and consistent with your social networking efforts, you can be sure that your sites will represent you well.

(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: Master Isolated Images/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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