If it’s snapping a late-night photo for the ‘Gram’ or ‘checking in’ to our favourite ‘brekky’ spots, social media has an important place in how we live our life. Social apps can be a great source of entertainment and information, but it is important to tread carefully when using these channels. A naïve post or story that we post for the world to see online, could be ‘make or break’ when trying to secure or retain our dream job.
In recent years, important changes have been made to contracts within the workplace that detail the necessity for responsible behaviour when using social media. This has stressed the need for us to really consider our personal image we post on the internet and the content we share. York University in Canada, Professor Nikolaos Balaskas discovered this lesson after he shared (alleged) anti – Semitic posts on Facebook which ultimately cost him his job.
The golden rule for everyday users of social media is to simply think before you post or tweet. There is no need to spread hate or controversial opinions that may not only put your employment into question, but also affect your reputation in the wider community.
A social media post can spread at the speed of lightning and amongst this large crowd of views could possibly be your employer or people who know your employer. Its best practice to not post anything that may directly damage the image and reputation of your workplace or even disseminate confidential information of the organisation ( intentionally or not) to users online. Connor Riley, a former job applicant for Cisco in the United States, instantly regretted a tweet she posted, which stated “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty pay check against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” The offer of employment was withdrawn and this was in 2009!
The message is simple. Be smart and respectful online. Social pages reflect our personality and attitude so why put these two traits in doubt for the world to see? Share on Facebook and enjoy all the content Instagram has to offer, but be aware that being risky with your social voice could spell the end of those progressive and unique job opportunities we crave.
Promotional and Smart Use of Channels:
Let’s not forget, social media is a source of self expression. Both examples about Balaskas and Riley, probably weren’t the ‘ideal’ source of self expression. Social media is a unique, creative and attention grabbing online tool, which can be beneficial to business models. Companies such as Deloitte, really nail this idea through channels such as Facebook. They post regularly about annual financial reviews across industries and trends such as workplace technology. Companies such as Deloitte can become trusted information channels for users, which can boost their brand’s profile.
What about you? How can you use social media to engage your industry experts? As workplace professionals, we should be individually using these channels to share news about our industries, marketplace and most importantly, creating ‘noise’ about our success. Posting, commenting or sharing content about market insights or about grand projects completed, could position yourself as a knowledgeable and well respected participant in your field of expertise. This content may include positive feedback you may have received or industry forums you attended. The benefit is in the opportunities we create for ourselves. Businesses are more prone to consider your applications for roles or even approach you directly if your posts reflect your career focused approach.
So, continue hashtagging and having your say on industry matters, because you might just catch the eye of your next employer.