Careers Advice: Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

Smile! Your future boss is checking your Facebook. Pic: Getty Images

Wanna get a rad job? Your cyber-self could make or break your chances, so we got the experts to spill their dos and don’ts.

We all love taking selfies and posting them on InstagramFacebook and Twitter. But the internet is a public place, so you never know who might be sneaking a peek at your albums.

Right now, it’s hard to think about the end of your principal’s boring speech in assembly, let alone the end of school, but the fact is, sooner or later you’ll want to apply for a job. Employers are getting savvy online, using Google to search for information on candidates (and yes, that includes your part-time gigs).

So, if an employer had a look at your online profile, do you think they’d want to hire you?

According to career expert and psychologist Suzie Plush, many employers check social media sites when assessing a candidate’s suitability for employment, and candidates may be rejected if they’ve posted inappropriate content.

Be strict with who can see your content. Put your Facebook privacy settings on ‘friends only’,” says Suzie. She also suggests asking yourself: “How is this image or status going to impact on the life I want to create for myself?” And don’t think that you can just deactivate your Facebook or super-old MySpace account – the information can live on in archived or old versions of websites.

It’s important to be aware of the pictures friends are taking of you. “If someone takes a picture of you pulling crazy faces, it’s hard to control where that information is going,” Suzie points out.

But social media can have advantages when it comes to career. Suzie suggests joining professional networking sites such as LinkedIn – start by adding your casual job and employment history, then start connecting with people in your chosen industry. “That way, you’ll be ahead of everyone else,” she says.

There are heaps of industries that are seeking talented people with digital skills for social media jobs, so having an online profile that shows off your skills could actually help you land an amazing gig.

For example, Australian fashion jewellery brand Diva has profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Diva’s marketing manager, Alice Cleary, says having an online presence that demonstrates innovative and creative use of these sites is really powerful. “Social media can be used as a great way to promote your creative ideas and copywriting abilities,” she explains.

You might not even be applying for a social media job, but having an attention-grabbing online profile will highlight your grasp of technology and show you’re not afraid to try new things. “If a potential employee has their own blog, website or digital portfolio, it’s a great tool for an employer to gauge the candidate’s creativity,” Alice adds.

❱❱ Alice’s advice to get ahead on the interwebz
❱❱ Set up a blog on Tumblr or WordPress to host your portfolio – but remember to ensure you have permission to reproduce any work originally done for an employer.
❱❱ If you haven’t completed any work experience, produce samples of work that are relevant to the job you’re pursuing.
❱❱ Set up a profile on LinkedIn and connect with contacts in your industry as you meet them.

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