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Increase Your Social Media Professionalism

Bonny Calfy | June 2, 2016

For some, social media is second nature. They enjoy the witty banter, the social connection, the cat memes … For others, it can be like swimming in a desert. They post things in all caps, forget social nuance doesn’t always come through the keyboard, and constantly take quizzes about which Disney princess they are. Whether you’ve been on Twitter since 2006 or have no idea what a hashtag is, we all can use professional guidance when it comes to interactions on the internet. Forty-three percent of organizations said they use social media or online search engines to screen job candidates and over 79 percent of job seekers use social media in their job search. It’s obvious social media is here to stay when it comes to finding and keeping a job.

You’re Never Off the Clock

It should go without saying that your employer, or prospective employer, can see what you post on social media. Your name, uploaded photos, updates and bio can be seen by anyone who knows how to use Google, depending on your privacy settings and their computing abilities.

From which celebrities you adore to what type of music you listen to, anything you publicize in your free time can be seen by others. To avoid embarrassing yourself at work or ruining an upcoming job interview, try to:

–Only post pictures that are “G” rated.

–Only post what you would be comfortable saying around your boss. Also, don’t comment about work, unless it’s a positive statement.

–Look into your privacy settings on all your networks to ensure they are set to your preference. For example, Facebook allows you to hide specific posts from certain groups of people.

–If you decide to have a public profile, be grammatically correct; impress your future boss with your social media skills as well as your grammar.

–Avoid Facebook and Twitter overuse. Your friends might like all the memes you post, but a future employer might wonder why you’re posting what cocktail you’re most similar to at 10:37 a.m.

Stand Out From the Crowd

There are more than one billion active users monthly on Facebook. Standing out in the middle of that crowd can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.

An easy way for hiring managers to get to know you a little better is to complete your profile on any social media network you have. There are plenty of Twitter accounts that don’t have a biography or a picture, but not having one might seem lazy to a future employer. Completing Facebook or LinkedIn profiles can take time, but they are more rewarding from a professional standpoint. If you only have time for one professional account, LinkedIn should be where you invest your time and effort.

Don’t discount the robust image you can project if you invest in each piece of your social media profiles. Imagine if you gave an incomplete resume when you applied for your next job; would you be surprised if you didn’t get it? Users with a Twitter bio have over eight times more followers on average than users without, and users with a link in their bio have over 7.5 times as many as users without links. So, next time you log in, take the time to complete your profile and fill in any missing elements.

Be careful, however, when playing the social media game. If you’re going to use Twitter or LinkedIn for your career, avoid:

–posting about politics, religion or ALL CAPS RANTS;

–picking fights online;

–connecting with others with incomplete profiles; and

–using any social media sites for dating.

You should, however, ask former employers, colleagues, teachers and mentors to endorse or recommend your skills on LinkedIn. Endorsements really can help your profile stand out from the crowd. On Twitter, find some useful industry sources to fill your feed and try to remember to update your stream with useful commentary daily. Facebook pages are great to follow and share content that is relevant to your industry and specific career path. Apps like Buffer, Hootsuite and Twitter make this a breeze!

Social media doesn’t have to hinder your career, in fact, it can help you find your dream job, as long as you remember these tips!

About the author
Author picture, Bonny Calfy
Bonny Calfy
As Paycom’s employer brand supervisor, Bonny Calfy oversees all recruitment marketing and employer brand efforts nationwide. Her brand awareness efforts extend over 10 years and have included launching the Paycom Careers blog and social media channels and producing recruitment videos, all to help attract top talent nationwide. Outside work, Bonny enjoys reading; fishing; and spending time with her husband, children and friends.