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Social Media – The Double Edged Job Search Sword

With each passing year, the power of social media becomes more and more apparent.

For some professionals, it could mean networking on LinkedIn that takes their career to new heights. For others, it may mean being relieved of your position or a missed opportunity for posting inappropriate content on Twitter or Facebook.

You can avoid being in the latter group by taking a very deliberate approach to social media. Keeping a few things in mind can help you steer clear of pitfalls while expanding your reach and influence.

How being active on social media can benefit you

Social media can be an effective way to show off your passion and expertise in your field.  When a significant news event happens in your field, go ahead and post about it – adding a bit of informed commentary.

By being active and commenting (non-controversially) about developments in your field, you show, first and foremost, that you are comfortable with technology.  If you use Pinterest, make GIFs or post content that you’ve made yourself – it shows off both your personality and creativity.

Being on social media also allows you to really get to know the companies in your field. You can keep up to date on their latest developments and gain insight into their corporate culture. This level of knowledge and familiarity can be invaluable when you sit down for an interview at one of these companies – allowing you to ‘speak the same language’ and easily talk about the latest happenings, both at the company and in the industry.

What to avoid

Airing your grievances for the whole world to see is rarely a good idea, particularly when they reference your employer or supervisor. Even though you may think your comments are being protected by privacy settings, someone you know could possibly pass it on to a prospective employer.

You should also avoid any comments that could offend individuals or a group of people. Once again, even private posts are not so private, as there have been stories of people screen-grabbing offensive material and posting it to their own profile in the hopes of getting the person reprimanded.

Complaining or mocking customers is also big no-no. Several recent stories in the news have involved restaurant servers posting photos of poor tips in an attempt to shame people into better tipping practices. In some instances, this tactic backfired and they were terminated.

Complaining about customers only portrays your company in a bad light. Most organizations won’t tolerate that, so steer clear of posting these kinds of complaints.

Finally, if you choose to connect with co-workers, clients or prospects, shy away from political posts. These posts may seem harmless to you, but could cause unnecessary tension due to differing beliefs or individuals becoming offended. While certainly entitled to your political opinions, they could potentially upset clients or co-workers and are quite frankly not worth the headache.

At Thompson Technologies, we often help job seekers hone their social media presence in a way that makes more appealing to potential employers and expands their reach. If you are more interested in how we can help you take the next step on your career path, please contact us today!

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