Part two of three in our continuing series on veteran and transitioning military employment preparation.
Most people have social media pages. No matter how private you “think” your social media page is remember this… it’s not! Potential employers regularly review social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others. This is common practice and is NOT a practice just reserved for potential employees who will need background checks.
If your social media page(s) contain images, videos, music, or speech that causes employers to think you are not a good candidate it can prevent you from getting an interview or landing the job. Many employees have found that their social media has been the reason for their termination.
Here are some rules that will keep you from having issues with your social media:
- Remove any images, videos, or other content that contains vulgarity.
- Remove images or other content that contains sexual content.
- Remove content that contains alcohol or drug use.
- Remove images containing violence, graphic images of war/violence/gore/etc
Its pretty easy, though possibly time consuming, to clean up a social media site with the above guidelines. However, its much harder to clean up your comments on posts you or others in your network or in the public have posted. It may be advisable to close your social media account(s) weeks or even a month before you begin sending out your resume and networking.
Some brutally honest advice you may not want to hear – Sometimes it’s better to close down your social media page than to try to clean it up. You will have to assess the difficulty and time invested in cleaning up a page vs. shutting it down and starting a new page at a later date. Should you decide to close down your social media page you have to remember that it takes time. Facebook, for instance, can take weeks to close your page down.
LinkedIn profiles are difficult to delete; that has to be done by LinkedIn at your request. It usually (at the time of this article) takes about two days to get your profile deleted. LinkedIn is a professional social media outlet for professional networking. Follow these guidelines for keeping your LinkedIn page in a favorable light.
Do not post entries or posts that contain vulgarity, sexually explicit remarks, or potentially political or religious inflammatory remarks. In a nut-shell follow the same rules posted above for Facebook. Additionally it is important to remember to keep your LikedIn content professional, and relevant to your professional career.
Your LinkedIn photo, which it is HIGHLY suggested that you have, should be professional. A clear, crisp headshot that has a relatively solid background is preferable. If your career direction is one where a suit and tie would be expected even part of the time then have your photo taken with a suit and tie. For both men and women, the photo should be business dress as opposed to business casual. If your career is one where dressing business casual is not required it is a good rule of thumb to go ahead and have your photo taken with business casual attire. Refrain from “goofy” faces, hand gestures, and most of all using objects, logos, pets, animals, movie images, etc. Only use your portrait, if you do not use a portrait then leave the image blank.
Ultimately it is important to be your self on social media, however, you should always temper that with professionalism as it is not just your “friends” who are looking at your social media posts. Remember this rule of thumb; “Nothing you post on the web is private”.
For further guidance on how to edit or delete social media entries or even delete accounts refer to the instructions on the social media sites themselves. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have excellent instructions on how to make these things happen and with a little time and attention you can “tune up” your social media and have it ready for your next step in getting your dream career.
If you are looking for a chance to put some of these tips and suggestions to work for you then make sure you come to the Veteran Employment Transition Networking Event on November 17th. This event will give you the opportunity to meet with potential employers, veterans organizations and more. Click here for more info…