Why is social media so important to your present and future career?

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Whether you are currently seeking a job or you are already employed it is vital that you ensure that your social media is fully private and that you understand the distinction between personal and professional.

People are now inviting their clients, colleagues and professional contacts onto their social media, which was something that was rare in the past.

If you are looking for employment you should give off the right impression on social media if you choose to keep it open to everybody.

A recent study by Jobvite found that 90% of employers use LinkedIn as part of their initial search for new talent. This is hardly surprising considering that LinkedIn is a social site for professional use. The scariest statistic is that two thirds of the survey admitted to checking Facebook before hiring, whilst over half (54%) admitted to checking your tweets!

To make sure that you are on the safe side here’s the top five tips for staying professional online and cleaning up your digital footprint:

Maximise your privacy

If you are using Facebook for personal use make sure that you have your privacy setting on maximum. By clicking the ‘settings’ menu you can limit your seen data.

According to a study by The Safe Shop, 66% of social media users don’t have their privacy settings in use. This is quite a startling statistic and this can mean that anybody can use or see your personal information.

You can also limit your privacy on Twitter and Instagram but using an invite only method.

Think before you tweet, comment or post

Always think before you post! The worst thing you can do online is to use crude or offensive language. This will put a potential employer off straight away! Avoid any topics related to religion, politics or sexuality.

Twitter can be the most damaging as its aim is to be as open as possible.

Don’t discuss work

There is no point in running the risk when you talk about work online. It can be very easy for something to be taken out of context. There may even be a non-disclosure clause in your contract if you are employed, so be aware!

Join industry groups and interact

If you are professional using social media channels including Twitter and LinkedIn, feel free to interact with industry experts and show off your skills to recruiters or potential employers. This will maximise your chances of impressing and showing that you are willing to invest time in interacting with people in a similar field to you – this can also enhance your online credibility.

Keep separate profiles

It may be a wise idea to have two accounts, particularly on Twitter where you may want to maintain two types of personality. It can be a hassle to maintain multiple accounts but it stops the chance of unwanted posts being seen.

If you have old or unwanted social media profiles on Myspace and Bebo, delete them. There’s nothing worse than recruiters checking out what you were up to ten years ago when you were in your teens.

From the above points it can be seen that your dream job could be easily dashed by a single tweet or inappropriate post. Don’t ruin your chances of landing your dream job, or any job for that matter! Tidy up your social media and stay professional.

Content written by Joseph Hill: www.searchlaboratory.com

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