Social media has become an incredibly handy tool for networking and displaying your personal skill set. You can use it to develop relationships with important people and companies, or to publish your portfolio.
If you're not careful, however, what you post on social media can come back to haunt you. It may even cost you the job you've worked so hard for! If you need a little perspective, numbers don't lie: According to one study, 1 in 10 job seekers missed out on a great job opportunity or were fired for what they posted online.
So what should you avoid posting to keep your online image clean? Find out below.
You're not a kid anymore, and you probably let loose several curse words a day. What you say in real life is up to you, of course - but online, you should watch your use of profanity.
Just imagine what it would be like if your employer checked your Facebook or Twitter, only to be greeted by a stream of f-bombs on that status you just posted. If you have your employer's info in your bio and they see your potty mouth all over your profile, chances are they won't want to associate with you anymore.
Social media can be helpful for venting or blowing off steam, but it's there for all your friends and connections to see. If you've had a bad day at the office, consider other options before unloading your baggage on social media sites.
John Anthony, employment attorney at Carlton DiSante & Freudenberger LLP, told CNN, "If there is anything you don't want to see in the L.A. Times, then don't write it in a tweet or on Facebook. It can become public and stay out there forever.”
Companies don't hire people that turn around and give them a bad reputation online. Don't hide behind a screen - fix it or get over it.
Making comments about race can already be dicey in real life. Online, you should be extra cautious - especially when you're limited to only a few hundred characters. Even if your post is a viable opinion, it might still confuse and even anger others.
If you think your post is even the slightest bit offensive, don't press "post". And forget the jokes - they are never worth it.
Vivid Learning Systems instead recommends that you prevent these types of situations by being a role model. Uphold your company's rules, confront individuals who make discriminatory comments, and think before you speak.
Many employers conduct drug tests to make sure their employees are healthy and responsible enough for the job. If you post photos or updates online that boast how much you drink or do drugs, guess what? You'll get the boot faster than you can say "busted."
Regarding private photos, there's only one time and place for those - and that's in private. Keep them to yourself.
According to The Muse, 45% of employers check out potential candidates' social media accounts. Do you want to make a good impression? Here's how you can clean up your online act:
Google Yourself. Do a Google search for your name and see what comes up. If you don't like what you see, you've got some deleting to do.
Privatize your social media. If you have your settings adjusted so that everyone can see your updates, make them a bit more private so you can filter what should and shouldn't be seen.
Keep resource media separate from your normal media. Reserve some sites for socializing (Facebook, Twitter) and others for networking (LinkedIn). If you have to use a platform for both, consider making separate accounts for professionalism and socializing.
Don't forget, you are what you tweet!
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