While it’s become a widely-accepted notion that posting content to various social media profiles can help your career, you shouldn’t overly rely on a steady stream of interactions and posts to get your career on the fast track – especially if cuts into your workday.
Instead of trying to Facebook or Tweet your way to success, focus instead on getting ahead to old fashioned way – by working hard in your field.
Advocates for using social media to advance your career have argued these platforms can’t hurt your career, they add value to your personal brand and they expose you to career opportunities. However, with almost anyone being able to get on social media and the value of content being highly subjective, these platforms’ ability to add real value is highly questionable.
Furthermore, social media use isn’t completely harmless when it comes to your career. The capacity to focus without distraction is becoming as important as ever in a job market that increasingly prioritizes soft skills over technical know-how. Social media damages the ability to focus because it’s built to be addictive. The more time you spend on social media, the more your brain begins to crave the quick hit of adrenaline that comes with a post “like” or clever retort.
Once this psychological dependence is established, it becomes difficult to give challenging job duties your undivided attention because and your brain simply won’t work for such a long period without a fix.
Placing too much emphasis on social media can also suck time away from career-building opportunities that have a much better chance of paying off, like completing big projects on time and doing real-world networking.
Social media is best put to use as a means to advance your career if you avoid some common pitfalls. Here are a few ways to keep your social profiles on point.
Keep it professional
In all likelihood, you’re going to be Googled by hiring personnel prior to your next interview. A profane statement, controversial opinion or bad photos can all hurt your appearance as a professional. Before applying to your next job, sign into all your social media accounts and erase any questionable material.
Also, ensure that all your profiles you want to keep private are set up that way. Although, it should be noted that private posts can very easily go public: Comments can be reposted or others can tag you in a picture without you knowing.
Play it safe and keep any career-damaging information off the internet altogether.
Watch your timing
Social media posts are usually time stamped and if you’re posting a lot when you are supposed to be working – it won’t look good to potential employers. Unless posting to social media could be considered part of your job description, keep the posting to evenings and weekends.
Don’t overshare career moves
Whether you just got a job offer at a rival company or quit in a blaze of glory, don’t go into much detail about what happened on social media as doing so could be seen as unprofessional.
If you have to share career news, stick to just the most basic facts.
At Career Concepts, we can help you take the next step in your career with or without social media. Please contact us today if you would like to learn more about how we can help.