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Social Media Tips for Career Success

With more than half the world's population on social media, spending 2+ hours daily consuming content, it's become an undeniable force in our lives. But what is the cost of this constant stream of content and connectivity, particularly in the workplace?

09/04/24 News

Gone are the days where recruitment managers would solely rely on interviews and reference checks as a way to gather information and get to know your character. Thanks to social media, employers can uncover more about you than ever before with a simple search. Even seemingly harmless posted content from years ago can leave you with an unforgiving digital footprint.

The good news is, by following a few easy steps to proactively manage your online presence, you can leverage social media's power and advance your career.

No regretting stricter privacy settings

First things first, let's talk about your social media account setting, privacy, and profile visibility. Most people, unless necessary for work (e.g. public figures/ influencers) should have their social media accounts set to private. This is an easy way to ensure your content is only available to your friends list. Take the time to recheck and explore your privacy settings, especially as social media is ever changing with new rules, functionality, and security measures.

Setting your profile to private, typically involves a straightforward process like flipping a privacy switch or selecting a "private" account option. Each social media platform has a range of privacy settings and options to restrict and control who sees your content and give you a more customised online presence. For example, on Facebook, you could explore settings to manage who sees specific information like your friend list or past posts.

Why would I make my profile private? First and foremost, it gives you more control over who can see your content, who can interact with your profile and content and what content people can see. This can be crucial for employees and job seekers who want to maintain a clear separation between their personal and professional lives. Beyond career considerations, going private also safeguards you from scams, hacking, data collection, targeted ads and even identity theft.

What about my friends list? The value of your privacy settings rests on having a carefully selected friends list. Since these settings are giving your friends access to your content, it's a good idea to sort through your list and remove anyone you don't know well, haven't spoken to in a long time, or wouldn't feel comfortable sharing your content with. This helps keep your content within a trusted circle and strengthens your overall online privacy.

Project the correct respect

In today's digital landscape, social media is like an online resume - it's something potential employers check and can continue to check throughout your employment. Even if your profile is private, it's always a good idea to maintain a professional and respectful online presence on all social media platforms. This will ensure you are in control of your digital persona, regardless of who might see or save your activity, where it could end up or even when it might resurface.

The content you share paints a picture of who you are, so it's important to be mindful of what you post. While social media is often a casual space, maintaining a respectful and professional online presence goes a long way.

Here are a few pointers to remember:

  • Use respectful language - Treat everyone online with the same courtesy you would in person. Avoid using slang, insults, or anything you wouldn't say in front of your boss.
  • Focus on facts and avoid rumours - Share only reliable information. Don't spread gossip, and check whether news and opinion posts are reliable before you share them (you can always Google them first to check).
  • Be mindful when discussing sensitive topics - Some topics can be controversial. If you discuss them, be respectful of others' viewpoints.
  • Engage in constructive conversation - Social media is a great place to share ideas. Be polite, respectful and open-minded, even when you disagree.
  • Avoid posting content that shows risky behaviour - Think twice before posting anything that could be considered risky, offensive, or unprofessional. This includes avoiding posts in your work uniform, clothing choices that might be inappropriate and anything that could compromise your safety (like excessive alcohol consumption).
  • Don’t engage with inappropriate content - If someone could be hurt or offended by watching your posted or reshared content then it's best not to post.

You’re the face of your workplace

Creating a positive digital reputation isn't just about you, it reflects well on your current or potential employers too. Even outside of working hours, your social media presence acts as a public extension of yourself and your workplace.

Here are some key guidelines to help you navigate social media while upholding professionalism:

  • Use a professional sounding email address on your social media. Opt for an email that reflects your name or professional skills e.g. This is also handy to have for your resume and cover letter.
  • Refrain from personal social media use during working hours unless it's directly relevant to your job duties. Remember, social media posts have timestamps.
  • Avoid tagging or highlighting your workplace/ job title on irrelevant social media platforms. Feel free to tag your workplace on LinkedIn or other professional networking platforms though.
  • Do not post content or photos about your workplace or in your work uniform unless relevant (e.g. a LinkedIn post highlighting a networking event or professional development course).
  • Refrain from negativity or complaints about your employer, colleagues or customers.
  • Never share confidential information about your workplace, especially financial data or personal details about colleagues or customers.

Command your online brand

The digital age has made our online presence a permanent fixture. By taking control of your privacy settings, creating and maintaining a professional online persona, and setting boundaries between your personal and professional lives, you can build a positive digital reputation. This proactive approach ensures that your online presence reflects the best possible version of yourself, positioning you for success in today's dynamic job market. Don't wait for a potential employer to search your name, start shaping your online narrative today.

Feeling unsure about social media etiquette? Workskil Australia can help!

Social media is a powerful tool for communication and social connection but navigating it professionally can be tricky. If you have questions or need advice on the correct way to use social media in the workplace or as a job seeker, please speak to your Employment Coach or contact our team.

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