Social media has changed the way we communicate. However, it is also starting to change the way we work and the way we search for work. Using social media in the right way could help you land that job of your dreams, but at the same time, it could see you getting rejected time after time. If you want to take it seriously you should be using it to build a network of contacts that can be targeted as necessary; it should not simply be a giant playground for you and your friends.
Below are five ways social media could seriously harm your job prospects:
1. Undesirable characters
As much as one of your friends might make you laugh on a daily basis, if they are posting inappropriate pictures and messages on your pages, prospective employers will see and this could seriously harm your chances at getting the job. Pay attention to what is being posted and what you are posting. The world has become a lot smaller with the onset of social media and everything you do could affect your job chances. If you are at all worried, make sure you change your privacy settings, limiting who can see what.
2. Abandoned accounts
If you don’t have time for social media then don’t set up the accounts. Having numerous accounts with no friends, connections or followers will not help. Stick to the accounts that you use regularly and only set up new ones when you know you can keep them active.
3. Too much information
Many potential employers are going to take advantage of social media to find out as much as they can about people they are looking to employ. The key to managing your social media effectively is to know what to share and with whom - you do not want every company you contact to know who else you are contacting and why. Be discreet and maintain a professional detachment by limiting the content you upload.
4. Don’t let it take over
It can be far too easy for social media to take up a large part of your time; after all, it’s not too boring and you feel as if you’re doing something positive. However, only about 20% of your time should be taken up with online searches - and social media is just one part of this. Make sure that you continue to network and talk to people face to face rather than through a computer. Relying on social media too much could result in you being less well-rounded and this will not help you in the long run.
5. It’s a drain on time
Following on from point 4, entering the world of social media can see you enter a kind of time warp. By the time you’ve added friends on Facebook (and seen what they are all up to), tweeted a few posts on Twitter, got pinned on Pinterest and spent time finding groups on Google+, you’ll find that hours have gone by and a good chunk of the working day is now over. Tyr to stay focussed on your job search and set time aside for catching up on social media.