10 things not to post on social media as a job seeker



Many employers, including here in South Africa now screen candidates based on what they post on social media.

What might be regarded as fun, can actually cost you a job that you qualify for.

The following 10 tips will help you to remain employable even when you are just passing time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms.

1. Looking like a bad worker

Make sure you represent your best self on any social network. On LinkedIn, that means crafting a professional persona. Nowadays employers research job candidates on social media. They’re mainly looking for professionalism, whether you’re a fit for the company and proof of your qualifications.

2. Poor grammar

No one’s going to hire someone whose resume says they’re a “contsientious wroker.” Common writing mistakes can damage your professional image. Even on the more social social networks, you can demonstrate that you’re a conscientious worker by taking time to proofread.

 3. Poor communication

There are typos, and then there’s just bad writing. That can mean lack of clarity, wordiness or a mish-mash of styles. On Facebook you want to be casual and simple but still make sense, while on LinkedIn you want a higher dose of formality.

4. Having a split personality

Your LinkedIn persona is going to be a bit stiffer than your Facebook persona, and your Instagram might be separate from your tech-focused Twitter. It’s fine to differentiate as long as you don’t look like a totally different person on your different networks. That also includes what you name yourself on social media.

5. Inconsistency

If your LinkedIn says “three years in finance” but your Facebook feed’s got a picture of you in a Starbucks uniform from last year, that’s a pretty big red flag. Lying about your experience or qualifications is never a good idea, especially with the Internet there to give evidence one way or another. Tell the truth on your resume, and make sure your networks reflect that truth, too.

6. Complaints about your current job

If you want to let off steam about how your boss doesn’t give you enough credit, that dumb task you have to do or the lame office snacks, social networks are not the place to do it. Be careful posting about your job in general. What you say about your coworkers or projects could be interpreted as you having a bad attitude.

7. Negativity

Complaining can make you look bad, and comments that can be construed as discriminatory are even worse. Most companies have policies against discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexuality and more. If you break that policy before you even apply, chances are you won’t get an interview.

8. Spending time online

The temptation, of course, when you’re job searching is to spend time looking at job postings, perhaps uploading your resume to apply, talking to contacts, or posting about the trials and tribulations of your job search on a Facebook page. Many people job search from work but given the way companies monitor employees, it’s not wise to use your work computer or email account for job searching.

9. Don’t connect with everyone

Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to connecting. The first question you should ask yourself when making connections is how can the person help me? The second question is what can I do to help them? Before you ask someone to connect, consider what you have in common. That common denominator, regardless of what it is, is what’s going to help with your job search.

10. Not being yourself

A professional version of yourself can still be yourself. Being careful what you post isn’t the same as deleting every shred of your personality. After all, you have to interact with the people you work with, and they want to know that you’re fun, smart and easy to talk to, as well as a conscientious worker.

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