Social Media – Use It To Your Advantage

Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be valuable resources in not only networking with people you already know, but also with expanding your network to others. The old aphorism “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is alive and well in the world of work, so use social media and your connections creatively, consciously, and above all carefully to put you in the best possible position for securing the job that you’re after.

Social media does carry dangers for the young professional. If you’re already privy to the various social networks out there, you’ll know that there are guidelines that must be followed.

For some, a personal page on a social media site, a blog, or a website may include information that isn’t necessarily appropriate for the workplace. Before interviewing, go through and analyze your online presence to determine whether a manager or recruiter would be accepting of the comments and images you have posted. If it doesn’t pass the “what would my Mum say?” check, then it’s best to remove that content.

Another idea is to Google yourself in order to ensure everything online reflects favorably upon the image you are trying to project to prospective employers. If you find content you’re not particularly proud of, develop a plan to be prepared for the problems this content may cause. For example, you may ask the person who posted the objectionable content to remove it because you are searching for a job. Some employers run these same Google searches as a part of their routine in the hiring process, so don’t be surprised if you are asked. It’s best to be proactive and prepared for such a situation.

Inside the working environment, there are other social media guidelines to adhere to. Keep in mind that your employer may have a social media policy in place. Some companies have very stringent social media guidelines and restrict or block access to sites like Facebook and Twitter. Others are more relaxed in their approaches to social media usage in the workplace. It is your responsibility to know your employer’s policy and abide by it.

Nonetheless, this is not to say that having several social media accounts is to be criticized or reflect badly on you. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. Nowadays, employers are seen to favour those who are avid users of all social media, as these networking groups are fast becoming a regular source of new business for every successful company.

So get yourself on every available social network, use them to their full extent and be productive, efficient, informed, and cautious in the way your market yourself online.


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