Social media is now an integral part of life. Just about everyone has at least one social media profile and employers do expect that you are using social media, both personally and professionally. But while social media improves communication and personal branding, it can hurt your professional credibility. Nowadays, companies will sometimes monitor what their employees’ social media activity and will certainly make the effort to research any prospective new hire’s presence on these sites. As a result, it is important to avoid committing any social media faux pas.
To keep you from falling into any of these traps, try to refrain from:
Posting Anything During Work
If you’re in a position where you are on a computer all day, the temptation to spend time on social media sites can be difficult to avoid. It’s understandable too; if you have a large social network of friends and family, there can sometimes be pressure to keep up with everything going on in all of your connection’s lives. However, if you’re at work, your first responsibility is completing what’s in front of you.
Avoid This By Using Site Blocker Apps
There are multiple site blocking apps, such as StayFocusd, that you can install in your browser to keep you from accessing sites like Facebook and Twitter. Schedule times with one of these apps to keep you from getting distracted by what’s going on in your social media sphere. If you’re nervous about missing out on anything during the day, impose the time ban to end during your lunch break. Catch up on your personal life then.
Complaining About Work
Look, we get it; work isn’t always the most fun place in the world and there are times when it can be stressful. Venting your frustrations into the ether is healthy to an extent, but it is more than unwise to post your grievances online, especially if they’re about work. Even with the highest of privacy settings in place, you never know what someone will find and share with your coworkers and supervisors. By posting your complaints about your employer, you’re putting yourself in danger of being reprimanded or, even worse, fired.
Avoid This By Scheduling Dinner With Friends
When you’re frustrated, call a friend and ask them if they’re free to get dinner anytime soon. It can be reassuring to get validation from friends online, but you’re just as likely to get sympathy and reassurance from meeting in-person with someone you know and trust. By doing this, you won’t have to worry about who sees what, and you’ll probably feel even better talking with a friend than you would have by complaining online.
Sharing Too Much Personal Information
Sure, your social media profiles are your own space where you can curate whatever content you want, and while you are entitled to share photos of your latest vacation, it’s best to keep these personal moments as minimal as possible. Photos of you drinking or participating in other activities along those lines can damage your company’s brand and reputation, which can come back to haunt you.
Avoid This By Going Through Your Archives
While ensuring your privacy settings are up-to-date is important, your best bet to keep your personal life private is by going through your posts, photos, Tweets, and anything else you may have shared, and deleting any questionable content. Go through your activity log or timeline and delete anything you feel might be compromising. It can be tedious, but you’ll thank yourself later when you have one less thing that can put you in harm’s way when it comes to your job search and/or career.