By Shawn McGowan, JobsInNJ.com
Social media has become an integral part of branding yourself in the modern day job search process, but when used irresponsibly, it can injure your reputation and immediately take you out of the running. A recent poll by Reppler showed 69 percent of recruiters had rejected candidates because of their social media activity.
In order to avoid being screened out of your next big job opportunity, here are four snafus to avoid in your daily online activity.
Yes, social media is about sharing, but constantly griping about your life (particularly your work) will not shine a positive light on you as a company's next great talent. Common traps to avoid:
- I hate my boss = A new manager will not want to be part of your ongoing diatribe.
- I hate my job = I'm lazy and unmotivated, complaining rather than striving.
- Woe is me = I'm at odds with my parents, my spouse, my stupid neighbors... Be an adult; no one likes drama - especially in the workplace.
Posting images you wouldn't want your grandparents to see is never a good plan. Here are a few examples of what not to reveal to your would-be manager:
- Profile images with exposed "look at my six-pack" midriffs or 90 percent cleavage
- 30 images of the artsy (yet explicit) burlesque show you attended last weekend
- Racy or offensive Halloween or theme party costumes
- Countless public snapshots of your raucous nights out at the clubs
- Any drug or alcohol references, from a profile pic with you or a friend clutching a bottle of whiskey to wearing a t-shirt with a pot leaf on it, these are huge red flags to recruiters
Wherever you go now, it seems like everyone has a camera phone. Lock down image sharing in your security settings to require approval so embarrassing images never make it to your profile without your knowledge.
When your status updates, tweets or comments are publicly viewable, try to communicate as effectively as you would at the office.
- Mind your spelling and basic grammar, and leave txt speak for your mobile messages.
- Dropping the F-bomb or other swears in every other status or tweet will surely not convince a potential employer of your professionalism.
- Don't use sexist or racist remarks.
Lying about your work history
Never do this. Across your LinkedIn, About.me, Branchout and other accounts, work history should always match the resume you submit to companies. It's easy for employers to fact check with background checks, online research and a few calls to reveal the truth. Even your seemingly small embellishments can be construed as blatant dishonesty and cost you a game-changing opportunity.
What seems like a funny or cool idea in the moment could cost you a potential job. Think twice before posting, your future depends on it.
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As a Social Media Marketing Coordinator, Shawn McGowan's passion for brand transparency and over 10 years of sales/customer service experience make him aptly suited for the job. A native of East Millinocket, Maine, Shawn grew up at the foot of Mount Katahdin and graduated from the University of Maine Presque Isle with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). When not writing, editing or immersing himself in the world of social media, he can be found enjoying the outdoors, art, music, tech, humor, Portland's amazing food scene, and all things nerdy. You can reach Shawn at smcgowan (at) JobsInNJ.com and Twitter.com/shonymac.