Like it or not, posts you make to your social media are being scrutinized by your potential employer as a measure of suitability for a position within their organization. For the most part, potential employers are looking at those social media posts to see if your tweets, LinkedIn updates, and Facebook posts indicate that you are familiar with the industry you are seeking a position in.
Think Before You Post
Your social media profiles show much more than your job experience. They can also show your potential employer your dedication to a career path, as well as how seriously you take your interactions with management. For example, if your posts contain a lot of negativity about your current or former employers and peers, that may give the perception that you are difficult to work with. Posts about wild adventures, parties and brushes with the law may also give the impression that you may not be a reliable employee. While potential employers are not looking to violate any constitutional rights or stifle freedom of speech, they are potentially critiquing what you post and how you post it to as part of their vetting process.
Become a Thought Leader
Be considerate about what you share and use your social media platforms to position yourself as a thought leader. Create posts that highlight your knowledge as well as your achievements in the industry you are pursuing a career in. Twitter and Instagram prove to be excellent outlets for those type of posts.
There are many other things that can be done to improve your suitability for a position via social media. For example, LinkedIn offers the ability to create posts in which you can make observations about the industry you are interested in. You can also write about educational issues, as well as highlight thought leadership articles and link to those via social media posts.
Use Privacy Controls
Facebook offers all sorts of privacy controls which allows you to make only certain information available to specified Facebook friends, allowing you to block photos, posts and other elements from your time line. For those on the job hunt, it makes a lot of sense to leverage those controls to keep what should only be shared among family and friends from outsiders like HR departments, businesses, and other external entities.
Successfully transforming social media into a creator of opportunity means taking a long, hard look at what you have posted, what you have liked, and what you have written. What’s more, you need to look at those elements through the lens of a potential employer and adjust the focus as necessary.
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