Friday, 19 October 2012

Careers and Social Networking

Social Networking sites have become a common place and its not a wonder that they have also turned out to be among the ways of getting a job, furthering your career through networking, sharing ideas, advertising of products and services, learning etc. It also comes in handy of you really know how to make good use of the same to make a positive impact upon your career.

The information that you share over social network and the type of updates say much about you especially to potential employers. Much of what people post, is a reflection of the reality in their life. Even if you are posting a joke, it still have an impact upon the readers. There are no strict rules over how you share what you share but as you do it, remember, people will judge you by it. Some posts can even land you into trouble with friends as well as with the law makers. Having at one time gotten a job Via Facebook,  I feel it is handy if I share some tips over how to maintain a positive picture about yourself online.

  1. Whatever it is that you post, ALWAYS make sure you do not have spelling mistakes in your posts. Spelling mistakes makes you seem as someone who is incompetent in writing skills which are handy in our modern career world. Also spelling mistakes portray you as careless in communication.
  2. If you are posting some informational update that require much understanding to the viewer, ALWAYS post a link to where the viewer can learn more about the topic.
  3. Let your posts and updates be brief and to the point, this will encourage more people to read them as people tend to shy away from lengthy updates.
  4. AVOID posting pornographic materials. Posting nude pictures makes your audience view you as a pervert and trust me, no one wishes to hire perverts as they tend to have a negative view of life.
  5. AVOID posting ethnic, inflammatory, biased posts unless its absolutely necessary. Such posts makes people view you as an inciter and few people would wish to have an inciter as a friend leave alone as an employee.
  6. Let your private affairs remain private. Refrain from posting sexual escapades, seduction success stories, marital problems and the like even if the temptation is too high. People who post private affairs over social networks appear as desperate and untrustworthy in keeping secrets.
  7. Resist the urge to post flirty updates. Flirting online will not make you attractive but will send the message that you are immoral and loose. Again here, wisdom will guide you the safe level of interacting with people online.
  8. AVOID changing your usernames every now and then. Being elusive will make you appear like you are not trustworthy and have no personal identity. People with no identity have little life focus.
  9. Set your profile to public. What is private is not viewable to potential employers.
  10. Let your photographs be smart, or rather be smart in your snaps, not necessarily official. Smart people are known to be organized and reliable in performance. Let the pictures speak to people the right message. E.g. Avoid posting your pictures taken when you were drunk, undressing a lady/guy, etc
  11. AVOID posting negative updates E.g. "I Hate my work big time", "I wish I would sleep and earn money while sleeping", "Am now seeking revenge..." etc. These type of updates will only serve you negatively and people will judge you by them. As a matter of fact, people have gotten fired due to negative posts.
  12. By all means, let your career be known to your online friends both the ones you know and the ones you don't. This is by periodically posting updates that reflect your professionalism. Advertise yourself online and make it appear you are at the top of your game.
  13. AVOID changing relationship status every other day. Changing status often will make you appear like disloyal, confused,joker and opportunistic. People do not wish to be around those who have no focus for life.
  14. Join online forums that relate to your career and be an active member. This will make those who are there to view  you as a competent worker who can be reliable technically.
  15. Form a group or a page that you will be the admin. Sell your ideas in that group in a professional manner. Be like a consultant.
  16. Whenever possible, post graphical updates of your products to have a visual appeal upon your potential clients. Use a simple graphic software to add captions in your images explaining something about the product.
  17. DON'T over post, your wall is not an advertisement bill board.
  18. DON'T Facebook all day, potential employers can spot that and they will think you spend all day idling in social networks thus stealing time from your employer. [NOTE: Some people simply log in and leave their accounts unattended while others share log in credentials with friends or spouses so having someone online all day does not necessarily mean they are there physically]
  19. Form a habit of posting some humor once in a while. People do not wish to be near humorless people who have no sparkle of life. Here, there are no strict rules but discretion is advised.
  20. Well......some co-workers are spies for the employer. Get to know them and avoid adding such among your friends list. There is no point of having a friend who will only serve to have you fired.  Again here, wisdom is what will help you.[Instead of blocking them, you can have them as a friend, but hide your updates from them in the updates settings]. Some people have two accounts, professional as well as personal. This is against Facebook ethics but its a personal choice.
Well, am not a saint here so I wish to leave the rest to you to explore the best and most suitable ways to enhance your personal brand on social networks.

Anthony Kiarie


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