Recently there have been increases in reports in the News of individuals landing in hot water for what they posted on Social Media, specifically for being very open in displaying information about the Companies they work for. Not only were these particular individuals ridiculed for what they posted, but it also went viral on Social Media. The Companies they work for also came into disrepute. Why, may you ask? The public stated that those Companies were supposed to be aware of what their Employees say and how they act on Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Posts made on Social Media can impact your career negatively, more than ever when you happen to be extremely open on displaying your current workplace information, positions held etc. Displaying these type of information is not necessarily a horrible idea. It is an effective medium to utilise when you intend to promote yourself and build your personal brand. There are, however, a few points you need to be aware of before publishing posts. Let’s call it SOCIAL MEDIA Etiquette, if you will.
It’s 2016. Technology is booming and the application of Social Media Platforms is now greater than ever. It is extremely likely that the Company you are pursuing also trends on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Even if they don’t, I can guarantee you that their HR Manager probably uses one of the three accounts, and wouldn’t hesitate to perform a search on you. The majority of Companies nowadays are using Social Media Platforms as a background check tool (a CV and personal interview with a candidate can only provide certain information). If you, in fact, don’t care what you post, don’t feel offended when Colleagues, your Boss, or a prospective Employer see exactly how you carry yourself outside of working hours and react negatively to it.
Reflect on what you post. If you happen to apply for an Executive level position, you need to feel comfortable that if the Employer happens to view your Social Media page, it wouldn’t be an embarrassment to yourself or them. Yes, it is your PERSONAL page and what you do and ‘post’ is certainly NOBODY else’s concern. Nevertheless, a person can pick up allot from another person’s personality, their values, and integrity by what they post publically. This also includes pictures!
Avoid writing posts on how you feel towards your Boss (or a Colleague for that matter); how irritating they might be or how unfairly they treat you. Even if your Boss doesn’t become aware of the post, a Colleague or Client might have caught a glimpse. Remember, news travels quickly; especially within a corporate environment. One’s professional reputation is extremely important. Besides, can you afford a bad name to follow you around, even if you do join a different Company and change Industries?
On the other hand, you might consider using another platform to voice your feelings and opinions, or not use it at all. As soon as you hit that POST button, it is out in the open for all to view and respond to.
Don’t underestimate the power of Social Media.