The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that there are 24.6 million Australians in the country today, and over 15 million of those are active on Facebook. Statistics like this show just how pervasive social media has become in our day-to-day lives.
On the one hand, social platforms are a great way to connect with friends and family. However, employees often forget that their profiles are also a component of their professional brand. Increasingly, recruiters and companies alike are using social media channels to find additional information about their candidates.
A Harris Poll survey found that 70% of employers use social media to screen their candidates before hiring. While posts about your accomplishments and volunteering activities might make you more attractive, the slightest slip-up on social media can also hamper your career opportunities.
So, how do you make sure that you’re using the right social etiquette online?
1. Filter Your Posts to Improve your Personal Brand
A social profile is a great place to show off your personal leadership brand. Sharing pictures of your latest work on voluntary projects or discussing what you learned during your last financial education course demonstrates your commitment to your industry. You can even write blog posts that highlight how much you know about your sector.
However, just as there are things that can improve your reputation online, there are topics that you’ll need to avoid too. The Recruiter Nation Report from 2017 shows that the following things can give recruiters a bad impression of candidates on social media:
- Alcohol consumption: It’s fun to share pictures from your last night out with friends – but these images can also make you look unreliable to recruiters. Consider keeping certain pictures private.
- Grammar and spelling errors: Before you publish anything online, make sure that you’ve spelt everything correctly. You want to appear as a knowledgeable professional, even if you’re just updating your Twitter status.
- Political or social rants: Keep your opinions to yourself on social media. Rants of any kind can be a red flag to employers. When a company hires you, you become a representative of their brand. Any political opinions can easily lead to trouble.
2. Avoid Venting About Work-Related Issues
If you’ve had a tough day at work, Facebook can seem like the ideal place to talk about it. After all, your friends are all there to offer their opinions. Unfortunately, while your loved ones might sympathise with you online, recruiters and employers will see angry comments about your employer as petty.
Posting negative comments about your employer, the business you work for, or even your position is like bad-mouthing a previous boss in an interview. It’s never a good idea. Additionally, there’s always a chance that you might reveal something about your business that your employers consider being sensitive information – such as which accounting software you use.
Before you publish anything, ask yourself whether you might harm your future job opportunities or damage your reputation with what you say. If you’re not sure how your post will come across to possible employers, keep the message private instead.
3. Stay Away from Posting During Work Hours
Sometimes, an active presence on social media can be a good thing. If you’re regularly updating your followers with evidence of your achievements and insight into your leadership skills, the result can be increased employment opportunities in the future.
However, if recruiters see that you’re regularly posting on Facebook during the hours that you’re supposed to be working, then they may begin to question your commitment to your role. Even innocent statements posted at the wrong time can harm your career by making you look easily distracted.
Many financial businesses prefer to keep social media out of the office where possible so that their accountants and managers can focus on the task at hand. Wait to post any social media comments until after work hours are over.
4. Embrace the Networking Benefits of Social Networking
Finally, make sure that you’re taking advantage of the benefits associated with social media. LinkedIn is one of the best professional social channels on the web today, and it’s a great place to connect with other people in the financial services space. Networking with peers in your space supports your long-term development plan by giving you insights into different roles, sectors and companies.
You might even find that communication with other professionals helps you to track down new employment opportunities. Take advantage of your social channels to:
- Read posts and check job alerts from specialist recruitment teams like Jobfitts.
- Follow peers that you admire and seek out a potential mentor.
- Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry and attract the attention of potential employers.
Like any tool in your career development kit, social networking can be a powerful asset when you know how to use it.
JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from; HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline.