Perhaps you’ve come across a lot of reading on how social media can build a career or how it can help you land a job. However, while these topics seem to be saturated, only a few sources actually have discussed how social media can have both positive and negative effects on career development.
Yes, you read it right. Social media may increase your chances of landing a job, but if you don’t know how to use it the right way, it is useless in your career development. It’s still about how you utilize the opportunity to let yourself grow professionally.
So to help you, take a look at some perks and perils of using social media in building your career below.
Transparency Is Good But Overexposure Isn’t
One thing that both employees and employers like about social media is the transparency it can provide to both parties. It’s easier for employees to check company backgrounds and cultures which is necessary when choosing a job. Social media also provides job seekers with a convenient and seamless way of communication. You get updates on current job openings and career training as soon as they’re available.
If you find it convenient to background check companies you want to apply to, so do the employers and hiring managers looking to fill positions. According to statistics, about 60% of hiring managers use social media to screen job candidates. If you’re fond of sharing your day-to-day activities with the public, you may end up posting status updates and information that can give a bad impression to employers.
What to Do
Revealing posts, rants about previous or current employers, and offensive activities are some of the posts you need to refrain from. While legally, employers cannot judge your capacity for a job position by your social media posts, you cannot anticipate their responses. Therefore, it’s better if you refrain from posting status updates like these unless it’s necessary.
Make your profiles professional. Avoid posting disrespectful statuses and posts. If you can’t help making negative remarks about certain situations or about other people, it’s better if you keep your profile private so only your friends or direct network can see them.
The Fast Relay Of Information But Lack Of Verification
We are in the age of digital information. Nowadays, it’s a lot easier to convey a message and spread the news about certain topics. If there is information within your industry that you need to know, you can simply tap into your industry connections, engage with them, and get yourself up to speed with industry news and updates. Career-wise, the fast relay of information helps in making you more knowledgeable about your job. Innovation is easily implemented as soon as information is available.
Just because information is delivered fast, doesn’t mean it’s accurate. While you’re scrolling through your news feed, you might encounter news that can be believable but the truth is, it’s either fraud, malicious, or intended to harm others. In your career, if you keep believing and sharing information from untrusted sources without even verifying if the information is true, you can end up being untrusted as well. If you want to grow your career and land the job you want, you need to build a trustworthy impression.
Moreover, fake news generates confusion. Statistics released in December 2016 revealed that 64% of respondents believe fake and made-up news has caused confusion regarding the facts on current events. These made up news stories in your industry can cause mismanagement and conflicts in your career.
What to Do
If you’re unsure about the veracity of information you read in your feeds or the source of information, it’s best not share it. If you really want to share it, take some time verifying the information first. You may take a look at some trusted sources such as authoritative editorial sources or trusted industry sites to see if the data and facts stated coincide with what your trusted network says.
Improve Social Confidence vs. Aggressiveness
Social media empowers the freedom of expression. Social media helps you communicate your thoughts about different issues both in your personal and professional life. Through posting your thoughts and opinions about certain matters, you’re developing your social confidence. This kind of trait is very crucial for growing your career.
As social media makes it easier to express opinions, you may not notice it, but you may go way overboard. It’s not a healthy career practice to frequently express your disagreement and conflicts with a coworker in your workplace. You’re being aggressive which can be problematic for a growing career.
What to Do
Just because you can freely express your opinions on certain situations doesn’t mean you have to shout to the world whatever problems you have in your workplace. If you have a conflict with your coworker or you have a problem with your boss, talk to them personally. Tell them what you think and feel, straightforwardly, so you can address whatever issues you have. If you needed to vent out and get some support, you can always contact your friends or loved ones — privately.
It’s not bad to express your thoughts in social media, but if it means degrading a person, it’s better not to express them at all. Lastly, the best way to avoid using social media to express anger and frustration is to stay away from social media when you are feeling those emotions.
Social media is another window of opportunity for you to grow professionally. But no matter how great that opportunity may be, if you don’t know how to utilize it, it can lead you to nothing, or worse, it can put your career in jeopardy.
Truth is, it’s still all about you. Lots of career opportunities may come, but if you don’t have the right attitude and you lack commitment, you can never move forward. No matter how many chances will come, no matter what technology and career development tool will be available, at the end of the day, it will still be about what’s inside you that matters.
About the Author
Key Acanto is an editor of scoopfed.com. She has been an editor of the blog site for almost three years. Occasionally, she also writes content for Bakkah. You can stay connected to her through Linkedin and Twitter (@keyacanto).