SOCIAL MEDIA / OCT. 22, 2013
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Does Your Boss Check Your Facebook? Using Social Media Carefully.

Whether you’re lucky enough to have a cushy job or are still trying to find one, keeping your online image pristine has never been more important. We are now in the midst of a strange new era where having an online presence has become something more than just a trend; it’s now a prerequisite. Social media has only been a dominant presence for the last few years, but now if you own a Facebook or Twitter account, then anything you add to it is projected through the internet for the whole world to see. And if you don’t own some sort of online account, people probably perceive you as either too old or a bit odd.

That’s why in 2013, social media has become increasingly important to keep up with. If you don’t have your own spot on the internet then you are going to find life very difficult when you start looking for a new job. You also have to know how to maintain an online account once you’ve set up shop. Let’s face it: if you post an extreme view or two for the whole world to see, or that rather unflattering photo that your mate took of you one drunken evening, it isn’t going to look good to an employer, potential or otherwise.

Granted, it’s a 21 Century issue, but it’s now one we all have to consider if we are looking for work or trying to keep hold of that perfect job. It’s a fact that most employers take a look at what their workers are up to on Facebook, as well as looking up potential candidates to see how they present themselves online. Here are a few tips to make sure social media helps your image and doesn’t hinder your career prospects.

#1 Privacy settings are there for a reason!

It’s a no brainer really. Keeping tabs on who can look at your profile is essential. Making sure only your friends can see your posts and photo libraries will keep you safe in the knowledge that no-one outside that group can be possibly offended by some silly post. A status update about drinking too much the night before can be innocent enough, but if a potential employer you sent a budding CV to sees it, then they might just be put off.

#2 Make sure you have a presentable profile picture.

A profile picture is an instant first impression, and it’s the one picture that is instantly presented to anyone who types in your name. So making sure that photo isn’t giving off the wrong message is probably a good idea. A simple close up headshot or portrait is ideal, and you might want to avoid pictures that may be deemed compromising. If a rude gesture, inappropriate clothing or alcohol consumption is involved in a photo, then you shouldn’t be using it as a first impression.

#4 Keep your profile up to date.

While you can keep your status updates private, it is still important to make sure that your profile is up to date and well presented. Making sure any bios and About Me sections are positive, well-written and spelled correctly will keep employers from turning away. Hobbies and any charities or voluntary work should be clearly presented too.

Overall, just keep it clean! Remember that your boss knows how to use social media too, and you don’t want to give the wrong impression. Social Media is also a vital tool in a healthy career search, and if you use it correctly it could help to boost your image and bring you one step closer to that interview!

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