Want To Boost Your Career? Follow These 7 Social Media Etiquettes

Today’s hyper-connected professional world offers myriad means of self-promotion to make your profile searchable and discoverable in the online domain. To add more value, you can load your profile with academic details, professional & personal achievements, photo-shopped selfies, videos and more — the list is literally never-ending. As for die-hard social media enthusiasts, sharing their views in real time is a must-do and they are extensively using their mobile devices for the same. With 1,43,199 tweets posted per second and 10 billion Facebook messages coming up on a daily basis, social media provides a lot of liberty to express your views and engage with your peer groups globally.
But there could be some catastrophic consequences if you unleash your views that are controversial, blasphemous and infuriating in nature. You can end up in someone’s bad books, job prospects could be reduced or worse still, you can be fired from your current job.
In the past, there were quite a few cases where companies like BBC, Virgin Airlines and others had sacked their employees for social media misuse. We have also seen a US Congressman being forced to resign and apologise for exchanging explicit photos and messages.
In these days, almost all candidates are researched on social media platforms during the recruitment process. Common attributes like your experience, recommendations, photos and status updates are reviewed by the human resource department before shortlisting candidates. Therefore, one should keep in mind 7 must-follow rules to enhance better job prospects.
1. Give authentic info:
Give actual information about your professional experience, achievements, qualification, awards and skills. Everything you mention here can be verified; so it is not a good idea not to overstate or exaggerate. In May 2012, Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson had to step down as his resume claimed a degree he didn’t have.
2. Don’t voice your resentment in public:
Maybe you’ve had a bad day at work, an argument with your boss, bad sales call or worse-than-expected appraisal. But that’s no reason to exhibit your ‘bitter’ mood on social media. Such resentment also hampers your chances of improving the situation at workplace.
3. Strictly follow you organisation’s social media policy:
Many organisations have social media dos & don’ts in place and these are updated regularly. Make it a habit to read these manuals and ensure that you follow them.
4. Don’t divulge classified information:
You could be a part of some integral project in your organisation that requires confidentiality. Or you could be privy to scoops like new product launch, insider information, management transition, merger & acquisition, etc. But don’t ever divulge such crucial information or you could be the first person to leave the company. For instance, in May 2013, Ford Figo’s offensive ad creative was leaked online and led to massive outrage. This resulted into the digital agency sacking its chief creative officer, along with his team, and the car-maker’s marketing executive also lost his job.
5. Say no to racial, ethnic, controversial or radical views:
Organisations prefer to stay away from controversies and also expect the same from their employees. Posting your views about political parties, religious sentiments, gender orientation, etc., on social media platforms will be viewed by the world at large. And that may ruin your chance of landing a job with companies that invariably do reference checks on social media even before conducting interviews.
6. Don’t bad-mouth people:
Blasting the new boss you don’t get along with, remarks on a colleague’s attire or comments like “our canteen food sucks, man” are suicidal in the professional world. What you are saying might not be irrelevant, but it’s a grave mistake to show your displeasure on social media platforms. The correct approach is to use the suggestion box or discuss it with your human resource people.
7. Don’t get too personal & juvenile:
Avoid sharing private data like personal snapshots, excessive personal information and twaddle updates like “had a food binge last night & suffering from stomach upset” or “feeling overworked at office… eagerly waiting for weekend.” Such updates put you in the category of naive & immature people.
Always remember that social media platforms are not meant for bashing people or venting your frustration. Use them judiciously to stay connected with your friends, peers and professionals hailing from your area of specialisation. Maintaining the decorum on social media platforms is extremely important if you want to be taken seriously.
My prediction is — in the near future, employers will adopt tools like social media index ranking as a parameter for candidate screening. So use social media to your advantage, keeping in mind the above points.’
About the author:
Kamlesh Dixit is co-founder of www.digipaaji.com and an experienced digital & social media professional. He enables global brands to build digital properties and advises organisations on how to enhance their digital and social media revenues.
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