Social media is the term used to describe a website or application that enables its users to create and share content or to participate in social networking via a computer or personal electronic device. Examples of social media websites include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat. Blogs and dating websites are also public spaces where people can post personal information and photos, which may be visible to anyone who searches for them.
Social Media Awareness
It is good practice to be aware of what you are putting on your social media accounts, as well as who you are talking to. When you post a comment, status, picture online or like and follow a page, this information is often available for anyone and everyone to see and can be hard for you to control or delete, especially once it has been shared by someone else. Employers will often look through applicants' social media presence to see what they post online and use the information they find on that person to make an assumption about their character, personality and level of professionalism.
If you regularly post status updates about being intoxicated and taking days off work then employers may be put off interviewing you because they may assume you are unreliable, whereas if you post positive updates, employers may see this as a quality.
There is lots of advice online to help you make the best use of your social media or you can use our checklist below as a guide:
Social Media Do's
- DO - Select the highest privacy settings for all social media accounts
- DO - Enter your name into Google and check the search results
- DO - Remove pictures or posts that may discourage a potential employer
- DO - Build up a positive online presence and show an interest in your chosen career
Social Media Don'ts
- DON'T use offensive language on social media
- DON'T post negative comments about any employer, job or colleague
- DON'T announce your new job on social media until the company have cleared it
Speak to your Employment Coordinator or a member of job club staff who can help you do a social media health check before you begin to apply for jobs. We can also help you to create or update your LinkedIn profile to appeal to employers.
Staying Safe on Social Media
Rather than us explain all the ways to stay safe on social media, here is a clip for you to watch with lots of important information on keeping yourself safe online.
It is also important to know who you are 'friends' with on social media as these are the people you will be sharing your information with. If you are sent a 'friend' or 'follow' request from someone you don't know, you can decline it.
As we mentioned above, every time you post something on social media that information becomes public and you have very little control over what happens with it. Even if you delete your post or photo, there is a chance that it has been shared or copied by someone else, so it can still be seen by people if they search for it.
Jersey Police website gives lots of tips and advice on how to keep your social networks private, stay safe online and report any incidents. Click on the link below for more information:
Jersey Police - Social Media Safety
Job seeking on Social Media
Many companies advertise job vacancies on social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, so it is important to include these sites as part of your regular job search. This Guardian Jobs article explains how you can use social media to enhance your job search:
Social Media for Jobseeking
If someone contacts you via social media to offer you a job, ensure you check they are legitimate before agreeing to meet with them. Ask for their name, contact details and a job description. If you are unsure, you can check online to make sure the company exists and call them to confirm the offer is genuine. If they ask you to meet with them, ask to do this on their business premises and confirm who you will be meeting before you attend.
If you have any concerns, speak to your Employment Coordinator who can assist you.