With a majority of companies using social media for recruitment, how you present yourself to the world via social media can be vital to your employment chances. In order to display your best self, there are some important Do’s and Don’ts of social media if you’re in the healthcare or human services job search market.
1. For every social media faux pas that results in job termination, there are hundreds of people who will never know that their social media posts sabotaged their job prospects. The first thing to do is to never post anything that you wouldn’t want your employer seeing or reading. That means if you have anything that may be questionable, change the privacy settings or delete it. Additionally, if you have to ask if something is appropriate to post, the answer is probably No.
2. When it comes to the Internet, anonymity is a fallacy that can make people careless during conversation held over social media. It can be easy to let emotions take hold causing you to speak derogatorily about someone whom you dislike. However, you never know if and when someone important will read your posts, so don’t trash-talk. If you have to vent, keep it off the Internet.
3. Even if you’re talking about abstract people and situations, or how you feel about the Kardashians, keep it to yourself or keep off the Internet amongst friends. The type of healthcare or human services professional that is in demand exhibits a positive attitude and nature, forbearance, and patience. Let those attributes shine online, so potential employers see the best side of you.
4. Vacation and party photos can easily be taken out of context, so be careful what you publish to your online profiles. Prior to posting an photos or videos, take a moment to ask yourself if they could be misconstrued as lurid, crude, sexist, or marginalizing of any person or group. Healthcare and human services professionals engage people from all aspects of society, so if you suspect that something could be taken the wrong way, don’t make it public.
5. Our last Don’t involves anything that you share privately with friends and loved ones via social media. It’s imperative that you inform everyone in your social circles that what you share with them should not be passed on without your approval regardless of its nature. Once again, this is another reason in a long list of reasons why you should never post anything that you wouldn’t want to share with the whole world.
That said, social media isn’t entirely detrimental; there are a handful of ways you can use it to highlight qualities about yourself that employers look for. You don’t want to go overboard making yourself seem like someone you’re not, but you can still use social media to represent your interests.
1. Get involved in social media groups such as Facebook pages dedicated to a cause you believe in, LinkedIn groups related to healthcare and/or human services, or Google+ communities. Not only can these groups be sources of positivity and opportunities to give back, they can also be great sources of job leads and endorsements that have meaning. Healthcare and human services employers want to see that your dedication to nursing, for example, goes beyond your shift, so get involved, provide feedback, and ask questions.
2. It is rare to find a company that does not have a social media presence. Consequently, following companies that you’d like to work with is a great way to learn about the company’s culture, key people, and what motivates those people. Join the conversation by asking questions and sharing your thoughts.
3. Keep your ego, aggressiveness, and enthusiasm in check so you don’t come off the wrong way. Take it slow and watch for a while, and when you see something that you are passionate about and have something to contribute to, chime in.
4. It is best to start with encouraging, supportive words in response to others’ posts rather than criticisms that could spark arguments. This is true no matter how much of an expert you may be on the subject at hand. If you don’t have anything positive to say in response to another’s post, then don’t say anything.
5. As always, think twice and re-read everything a few times aloud before committing to posting. This will help you avoid making grammar or spelling errors as well as help you double check the tone of your message. Social media has always been about more than just being social; it can be a true avatar of your beliefs, personality, skills, and knowledge, which can play a big part in getting and keeping the healthcare or human services position that you want.