Your personal brand is what others think about you when you leave the room, and it carries over onto the channels where you publically present yourself. Social media channels can seem safe with privacy settings, but truthfully, once something is out there in the interwebs, there’s no taking it back. So, we should consider what we put out there for the world to see and how it could affect our professional careers.
Complaining about your boss or company.
Complaining of any kind will usually turn off most people, especially potential employers. Recruiters and hiring managers think if you are willing to go on the social media public record and bash your boss or company, what will stop you from doing the same to the new boss or company. They may not know the whole story behind the complaint, but it is a one-sided version of the story nonetheless. More so, why would they want to hire someone who not only complains but complains on social media? Now the recruiter or hiring manager is wondering, what type of behavior will this bring to a team? How much will this person complain at work? Nobody wants a negative person around. It’s a bummer. Negative people are like energetic cancer that spreads quickly. Nobody wants that. Your best bet is to handle complaints independently and keep them to yourself or talk to someone you trust but keep it off social media.
Posting inappropriate photos.
Of course, inappropriate is subjective. If you wouldn’t take the photo to work and show your boss or boss’s boss, you probably shouldn’t post it on your professional social network. Use your privacy settings and at least keep it privately visible to your friends instead of publicly available. However, keep in mind that privacy settings may not always keep your content from being visible. Maybe you just mastered a killer version of the Svarga Dvijasana (Bird of Paradise) yoga pose or had a crazy Spring Break booze-filled vacation in Mexico. Still, they’re not necessarily the most flattering photos to post and then apply for a promotion. So, be mindful of what you’re posting and make good choices.
Posting offensive comments.
There are at least two sides to every argument, this one included. That said, posting comments that are generally viewed as offensive can affect your professional situation, based on the types of comments. Slanderous, derogatory, or abusive comments will likely gain popularity and maybe go viral because they are intentionally offensive. However, going viral doesn’t mean you’re positively popular. Polarizing opinions can set you apart from others, and it’s your call to make if you have polarizing ideas or opinions to express. However, it could come back and bite you on your backside when creating a personal brand and expanding your career. To polarizing comments, we say, “Great! Have an opinion,” but there’s no need to be an offensive jerk. While you can’t expect to make everyone happy with your personal ideas, beliefs, or opinions, remember what you are trying to express to the world about yourself professionally and comment accordingly.
Posting political, religious, or any other group-specific views could have a varying impact – Be aware that those in leadership positions may have counter views and thus could negatively affect your placement at a company or other consequences. I’m not saying don’t post your views. Everyone is entitled to free speech in the U.S., but understand the potential outcomes and post accordingly. Sometimes, you have to resist the urge for your 5 seconds of fame on social media to maintain your personal brand. Unless you know the people around you at work are in acceptance or agreement (because acceptance does not mean agreement), the strongest presentation you can make is rooted in professionalism.
Items to Post That Enhance Your Personal Brand
There are content creators and curators. Artists and DJs. If you are creating new content, you’re the artist, and if the information is relevant in your professional field, all the better for you as a thought creator and those you are informing in your field. If you are curating or DJing by sharing other’s content, then you are helping to keep people in your field informed. Creators and curators can enhance their personal brand by creating a place for others to get informed.
Enhancing your personal brand also means informing others of your accomplishments. Let others in your professional network know that you have completed a project, signed on a new client, or earned a certification. These are perfect opportunities to create a video and upload it to your Pointe Profile®. Create a video of you killing it at work and include your latest accomplishments, and post it for others to see and offer their recognition.
Social Media and Screening Candidates
The question stands whether or not employers should review social media sites of potential candidates. Although there are no hard and fast answers, many employers are advised against searching through candidate’s social pages. However, most social pages are open to public review, so your best bet is to prepare for professional contacts and employers to search and review your pages. If you think the content you put on social pages could be questionable or unfavorable to you, perhaps it’s best to remove it or not post it all. If you’re interested in a complete guide on great job-related information to post, our free ebook can get you started.