Maintaining a Professional Social Media Presence

Maintaining a Professional Social Media Presence

In today’s age, social media is a highly visible platform for both employees and employers. Being aware of what you post and how it will be viewed by others is essential in making sure your social media presence is professional. Whether you are a new professional or a seasoned business executive, your public persona represents who you are to the outside world. In fact, 52% of hiring managers acknowledge that they check social media profiles and use this as a screening method before selecting  interview candidates.[1] Having offensive posts that could be viewed in a negative light can prevent your skills and experience from being considered, even if you are qualified for the job. Often, people may unfairly make assumptions about your interpersonal skills and intelligence after reading your social media posts.

Keep in mind that what may have been socially appropriate when you created your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, may not serve the same purpose as you transition throughout your career. It is always good practice, at least once a year, to go to your profile and look through all images and posts.

The business communication consultants at Speakeasy recommend screening your pictures to ensure that you are appropriately represented. Whenever possible avoid posting pictures or comments that may be viewed the wrong way by potential employers or customers. It is important to remember that the quality of your written communication, albeit in a social media post, is also an illustration of how well you can communicate with others in the workplace. Going the extra step and proofreading your posts to make sure they are written clearly, without text-friendly acronyms can go a long way in helping you to create a professional social persona. Even if grammatically correct, certain topics such as politics, will rarely please everyone and should be avoided.

When it comes to applying for jobs, employers prefer to hire those who they perceive to be well-informed. Sharing occasional articles via social media to convey your connection to the industry is a good habit.  The communication coaches at Speakeasy recommend using this as a great way to begin conversations with prospective employers and during networking events.

You can take a proactive approach in managing your online presence. If you are concerned that your social media account may be misconstrued, you always have the ability to hide it from public view. It is okay to have a private social media presence, if you choose this option, make sure you at least have a completed, professional and viewable LinkedIn profile.

With social media being in the forefront of everyday life, this will be a continued topic for many years. Being proactive and cleansing your social media accounts periodically is the best way to protect yourself. In addition to the social media etiquette, there are a host of important business best practices to consider when you enter the job market. SelfLink is your go-to information source for everything related to maintaining a professional image, landing the interview, and how to network with business executives. With short 2-minute modules, SelfLink is a proven way to refresh your business and communication skills, and give you the added edge to outperform your peers.

Visit www.SelfLink.com for more information about your social media accounts and their potential impact on your career.

[1] http://thehiringsite.careerbuilder.com/2015/05/14/employers-checking-candidates-social-media/