Through social media, you can connect with anyone, anywhere at anytime. With the new innovations in cellular technology, social media has yet another platform to help you instantly share your stories. Consumers of social media content are far and wide, but as career women (or future career women), you should take control of your social media image.
As a new grad, and now a corporate world employee, I can tell you that my employers have moved towards social media to find talented workers. This is a common trend among many companies looking to find the best candidates. In a 2010 survey that included 150 companies and 3,500 job candidates, Vault.com reported that 93% of employers did not care what people did outside work, almost two-thirds of them actually looked into candidates’ social media profile during the recruitment process. Nearly 28% of companies confirmed that they use social media to “spot check” on candidates. If your social media accounts are open to the public, you run the risk of damaging your employable potential, or if your smart, you can build a positive social media image. Let me share some Do’s and Don’t of Social Media.
The fundamental of all social media sites is the ability to connect with anyone with just one click of a button. You can choose to follow your favorite celebrities, friends, and companies and you can also use social media for networking. On platforms like Twitter, experts can be found on any field imaginable. As young women in a highly competitive job market, you should connect with experts in your niche because they will post relevant information. In turn, you will always have the most recent news about your field. Ladies, you can use the information to score some good points with the boss.
The types of items you choose to share do determine your image. If your pages are open to the public, you should think before you post. Your online friend only gain information about you from what you share. Majority of my Twitter followers are people whom I am never met, and my twitter posts do create an image of me. The kind of control you can have over your image in the online world is impossible in the real world. Take advantage of this opportunity to build your image by sharing relevant, positive, or appropriately funny information.
On that of building your image, there are some Don’ts that you must religiously follow. Don’t use your account to vent to the world. Everyone has problems in their lives, and no one comes online to hear about yours. If you share negative information, you are going to be perceived as a negative, unmotivated individual. What company would really want to hire you? A horrid example of my own is from a Twitter acquaintance who always manages to make angry, horrible, and ungrounded comments about the people in her life. Even goes so far as to say she loves her #angryvaguetweets. She is a recent grad, and should really reconsider what she says on Twitter. Ladies, if you have to vent, please talk to the real people in your life and find real solutions. Don’t post items that could potentially harm you.
Last but not least, please don’t post pictures you wouldn’t want your desi mother to see. Yes, we are all young, go out, take pictures, and then some of us make the decision of posting these on a public platform. There are private options on Facebook for a reason, and it is not a bad idea to use them. If you apply for a job that is highly competitive, a google search of your name could turn up those pictures.
I have made all sorts of mistakes on my social network sites and on the other side of that coin, I have created some great relationships with my virtual friends. So Sapna readers, I hope my tips can help you navigate your career, and you can learn to say this without fear “Go ahead, google my name.”
— JAWERIA JAMAL