Social media is more than a communication tool; it also gives us real-time updates on sports, entertainment and politics. The acceptance and use of social media has moved into corporations and small businesses as well. Companies use these tools to promote products and services use various platforms to stay connected to their fans. Social media gives them the opportunity to respond to enquiries almost instantly.
As with all things, there are pros and cons to using social media, which include being aware that each person has an audience, and that audience may not always be private. Anything you post on the internet is public information and can be shared with an even wider audience.
The problem with sharing personal information is that sometimes it gets picked up by people you would not expect to care. Over the last 10 years, recruiters have adapted to social media and use the internet to research potential candidates.
Watch: Can social media affect my career?
It is fun to share photos with your friends around the world, but be aware that recruiters will not be impressed if they see photos of drunken or offensive behaviour. Consider this: you are one of two final candidates and you both meet the criteria for a job, and you both have excellent qualifications. Now, imagine which one of you the recruiter will select based on content you have posted on the internet.
Protecting your reputation online is as important as protecting your financial information. A good rule to follow is this: don’t post anything that would embarrass your parents, your spouse or your children. Recruiters use social media to screen candidates, and have rejected candidates for; posting inappropriate photos and comments and posting negative comments about their employer.
Social media sites that recruiters visit to screen candidates often include; Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. But they also have access to Pinterest, Instagram, and dozens of other sites where you may have posted information. Do not post photographs of inappropriate behaviour on these sites or anywhere else, even if you think it is funny.
Read: How social media can make or break your career
Social media is a great tool for sharing information with your friends and family, but keep in mind that everything you post can be seen by someone who may potentially want to hire you in the future.
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