The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

By: Lauren Purisky, Account Associate for The Ghana Cookbook

It’s no myth that hiring managers and employers examine candidates’ social media profiles as a portion of their decision-making process. Even posts and pictures that may have been deleted can still be discovered; as we all know, clicking the trash can icon doesn’t completely erase the information. Not only can inappropriate posts prevent you from getting your dream job, they can even lead to dismissal from a position you already have. In order to maintain a professional online presence, here are some things you should (and should not) do:

DO create your personal brand. Your use of social media should illustrate who you are as a person and what you want others to know about you. Think about the most recent posts on your Twitter or Facebook page. Would they accurately reflect who you really are to someone who hasn’t yet met you face-to-face? If not, it’s probably time to revamp your content.

DO share your blog or other articles– you never know who may come across it. Maybe a friend from your high school English class has a relative in the field. If they see something exceptional, they might just pass your name and work along.

DO follow industry-related accounts. Though a hiring manager probably won’t scour your “following” list for red flags, this is a great way to stay up-to-speed with all things public relations.

DON’T use profanity or other explicit language. Posts and tweets exist indefinitely, even if we think we’ve deleted them. Just one moment of anger or frustration could resurface when a potential employer is searching your profile and it could cost you the position.

DON’T post pictures involving drinking or drug use. According to a Forbes article, 45 percent of hiring managers who check social media said they chose not to offer someone a job due to “evidence of drinking and/or drug use” on their profile.

DON’T complain about your current or past job. Any hiring manager who finds complaints about a position, a colleague or a boss on a candidate’s social media page is likely to discount them right away.

After learning the amount of caution that must be exercised with social media use, some people may believe staying off these platforms completely is the safest plan of action. Interestingly, potential employers also notice the lack of an online presence and do not label it a positive finding. As long as you maintain clean, professional accounts, social media can only work in your favor.

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