Social media is a fun way to stay in touch with friends and family, but it can also be a beacon of networking opportunities. As the world of hiring becomes increasingly technological, employers are taking more of their hiring activities online. That being said, don’t assume you’re “safe” from social networking mistakes because you’re not posting inappropriate content; there is a multitude of subtle mistakes that influence how employers and peers can view you.
Here are 3 not so obvious social networking errors to avoid while building your online presence:
Being too personal… or not personal enough
Incorporating aspects of your personal life such as your creative writing, appropriate photos, and hobbies can add a three dimensional aspect to your social network presence. However, there is a fine line between making your profile accessible and oversharing. Sharing highly personal or possibly controversial ideas and photos may ostracize you from hiring managers. Your personality is unique and a big factor in whether or not you may get a job, so be judicious when deciding what to post. If you wouldn’t want your current supervisor to see it, don’t post it!
Engage in the conversation
While many people utilize at least one social networking platform that can serve as a professional development tool, many of them don’t actually take the time to be an active participant. Showing an active interest in the events and conversations happening around you demonstrates to future employers that you don’t just have an account because it’s a seemingly ubiquitous part of 21st century life, but because you care about the market and new ideas.
It’s essential to show that you’re a participant in your industry by contributing to forums on sites such as LinkedIn, responding to blog posts, and participating in group discussions. Making your interest apparent on social media will demonstrate to future hiring managers that you’re not only knowledgeable, but enjoy contributing and learning about your field.
Hunt for spelling and grammar mistakes
While this tip may seem obvious, it’s worth mentioning that auto-correct and spellcheck don’t catch everything. In fact, they can confuse something you meant to type for another (such mistaking “dessert” for “desert”, for example). Before posting online, take a moment to read your contribution out loud. Even if you don’t see any red squiggles signifying an error, there may be one hiding in your post as another word. These mistakes can make you look unprofessional and sloppy, so taking a few extra seconds to be 100% sure that your post doesn’t read awkwardly will be appreciated by all.