Act Like a Professional, Filter Your Pages

Your-Facebook-etiquette

Social media has changed the perspective of professionalism for a lot of people these days. There was a time where people only had to worry about being professional in the working world, but the Internet and social media has created a window right into everyone’s personal lives. Platforms going back to MySpace and to today’s more popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram have made it so people always have an inside look into what we are doing outside the classroom/workplace. The professional etiquette that everyone has used in these areas is slowly sinking and becoming apparent in social media today. As a senior, getting ready for graduation means having to find a job for life after college. I know that I need to make sure that while my social media platforms are a reflection of my personality, future job employers have access into these social media platforms and could get the wrong impression by something they find on my profiles. We should all know just how to have professional looking social platforms. Forbes has generated a list of questions to ask oneself when posting on these platforms but maintaining a professional mindset. These questions are:

  • Should I target a specific audience with this message?
  • Will anyone really care about this content besides me?
  • Will I offend anyone with this content? If so, who? Does it matter?
  • Is this appropriate for a social portal, or would it best be communicated another way?
  • How many times have I already posted something today? (More than three can be excessive.)
  • Did I spell check?
  • Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this?
  • Is this post too vague? Will everyone understand what I’m saying?
  • Am I using this as an emotional dumping ground? If so, why? Is a different outlet better for these purposes?
  • Am I using too many abbreviations in this post and starting to sound like a teenager?
  • Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out?
  • Is this really something I want to share, or is it just me venting?

But a few things come to mind when acknowledging the topic of social media’s role with the professional working world. Is social media really that big of a factor in the hiring process? According to Self Magazine, 93 percent of recruiters for businesses used social media in the hiring process with applicants. Hiring recruiters are putting in the work to make sure that they are looking into applicants’ life to make sure that they truly hire the right candidate for the job. By following these steps, are we simply taking away from our own creative voice? I believe that when it comes to professionalism, you do need to have a filter, but what people need to learn more of is simply incorporating their own creative voice, in their professionally appropriate posts. Just because you cannot post crazy pictures from the weekend, does not mean it is a bad thing. Keep those pictures on your phones or in an album that is only shared among you and your friends because you never know what you think is ok to post today, you could think is completely wrong in the future. Taking the simple necessary steps to make sure that while you are using social platforms to be a reflection of yourself and staying in contact with friends near and far, social media isn’t a “private” platform, it is recognized that they are public platforms and anyone can have see into what you are doing, putting a filter to what you share and post is what will make your social media pages, that much more appropriate and professional.

Picture:

http://www.mustardcreative.com.au/musings/social-media/6-social-media-etiquette-tips-for-your-business/

Sources:

http://www.self.com/flash/work-and-life/2014/11/latest-factor-affecting-hiring-decisions-social-media/

http://www.businessknowhow.com/internet/socialmediaetiquette.htm

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2013/01/09/social-media-etiquette-12-step-checklist/

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4 thoughts on “Act Like a Professional, Filter Your Pages

  1. As an intern in the recruiting department at UPMC, I have experienced first hand the role that social has played in sourcing candidates. However, I’m not sure that the 93% statistic really captures what it is recruiters are doing. LinkedIn is a social media site, and easily accounts for the majority of that 93%. Recruiters, from what I’ve seen, aren’t going out of their way to look through your Facebook and twitter profiles from 2008. Usually, these recruiters are looking to source candidates for as many as 25 open positions at a time! We often hear how recruiters spend less than 30 seconds skimming your resume…well the same goes for social media. So while we definitely should be cautious of what we’re posting, don’t get too worked up over what you posted to your Facebook 5 years ago.

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  2. I think the questions listed are a great way to filter content! It will help make sure your posts are relevant and intelligent. Something that still worries me, however, is posting opinionated pieces, even ones that are informed, in case a potential employer disagrees. I guess moderation would be important in this instance. It could go either way I’m sure.

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  3. You’re totally right about filtering our platforms. I feel like everyone reads these tips and agrees, but most people think it only applies to Facebook. The one piece of advice that always stuck with me is, “If you wouldn’t want your grandma to see it, don’t post it online.” In my case, my grandma is on Facebook, as is my mom and many of her friend’s. A couple years ago, my mom gave me grief after her friend asked about a “risque” dress I wore and had a photo of. Since then, my Facebook has remained pretty tame. That same tattle tale friend recently requested to follow me on Instagram, and I haven’t accepted yet. I’ve had my Facebook for much longer than my Twitter and Instagram, so I wonder if it’s only a matter of time until I make those accounts parent friendly as well. So many people are under the assumption that what you post on Facebook should be much more conservative than on other accounts, including myself. My Twitter has curse words, my Instagram has sloppy photos. These newer mediums have given people false confidence that they can be less filtered. The worst (not in my case) is the confidence people have with Snapchat. People send horrible photos, assuming no one except the recipients will ever see them. But, because of Snapchat’s screenshot feature, so many people have gotten in trouble. A sorority at the University of Alabama was nearly kicked off campus after a racist Snapchat was screenshotted on their bid day. These tips you listed are helpful and should be followed, but I think people need to realize that they should be followed on ALL platforms, not just Facebook.

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  4. This a very useful post! As a senior, I’ve been more conscious of employers looking at my social media accounts. Mostly, I don’t worry about my accounts because I have a pretty neutral voice online. The questions that you included, however, are great guidelines whether you have a quieter voice like myself or post more controversial material. I especially like the question: Will anyone care about this content besides me? I think this is a good question because it can ensure you share meaningful material while picking and choosing to create your personal voice. Employers like to see personality too. Thanks for the questions! I’ll definitely be using them as I start applying to jobs.

    Becca

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