As someone who has hired more than my fair share of employees, there are things I see being used on social networking sites that can harm you in getting hired, a promotion, and getting new clients or customers.
Excessively Promotional Makes You Look Like a Beggar
Yes, there is such a thing as excessively promoting yourself. When I see this, I am left to wonder why their work isn’t standing up for itself.
The biggest is the work you are promoting isn’t as great as you may think it is — hence, why no one is finding it or when found not using it once found. For example, freelance writers who have to fill a Twitter feed of 10 or more articles one after another. This isn’t being once a day, but several times a day leaving those who follow you seeing nothing but begging on your part. This can be a turn off for your readers when you aren’t providing substance which interests them.
Not Socializing Leaves People Feeling Cold
When you aren’t socializing with those on Facebook, you are missing out on a great deal with your customers and potential clients. What do you know about those on any of these lists? Do you know their interests? Do you know what they shop for? Do you know their turn offs when it comes to life in general?
If you answered no or I’m not sure to any of those questions, you have missed the mark when it comes to social networks. It’s not all about you, it’s about interacting with real people behind the names — even if it’s a business because there is a person running that account. That person behind the business account can have as much pull as the person hiring you for a job.
Posting Semi-Provocative Pictures
This is one area everyone, both male and females, need to be careful with. If you are posting semi-provocative pictures of yourself — especially from where you work — this could lead to areas in your career you’re not willing to travel. Not saying you could get fired, but it is possible. It’s more along the lines you are opening the door for sexual harassment that won’t go away.
As much as you may not want to hear it, sexual harassment does happen and will continue to happen. Even if you are fully clothed with your blouse or shirt unbuttoned too far while posing in a nature that shows too much skin, this could suggest to a coworker you are a willing participant.
That’s not the only thing that can cause your career harm, consider the clients, other workers, and customers who can and may come across such photos. Not everyone is open minded enough to think there isn’t anything to the pictures. Disapproval from others can harm your career just as much as what your employer thinks especially when it comes to less money coming in and people distancing themselves from you.
Think of scandals political and high profile people have gotten themselves into from pictures posted online.
Cussing Online for the Shock Factor
Even with so much cursing going on in movies and on television, it’s not one thing you want to have people see you do online. It’s not professional and it takes points away from you and your career. After all, you’re not Charlie Sheen, Roseanne, or Chef Gordon Ramsey. Cursing in public — in this case, a social networking site — doesn’t have to be a shock factor for those you are trying to real in. Remember, your bosses won’t like it either because you’re not showing yourself or the company in a positive light.
Talking Politics and Religion
This is when it’s time to be careful of what you post. Religion and politics are two of the highest tension setting things that can be discussed online. Conversations flare as much as tempers. At times posting your views on either of these topics can be just as, if not more, harmful as cursing and provocative picture postings online.
When you show potential clients, employers, and customers your stances on politics and religion, you could run the gambit of losing all or any one of these things which will put a damper on your pocketbook.
Nothing is wrong with being a sports fan. When it takes over your profile feed and only a handful of your “friends list” discuss the sports event at hand, you’re leaving out hundreds of subscribers. This would be a great time to start a sports group and invite these like minded people to join. By doing this you’re not leaving out the other hundreds of people that are being ignored or turned off by sporting events.
Reposting Before Fact Checking
Yes, there have been several pictures and stories over the years that have circulated that aren’t true that keep getting reposted. These types of reposts are harmful because it shows you didn’t check the facts.
Example, a reposting of a child being kidnapped with a vehicle and tag number being given that is a hoax. This type of thing doesn’t help when a child has been really abducted or gone missing because those who have fact checked either can’t find out if it’s true or don’t know the people others are trying to help. This is also true on many religious and political reposts because not everything in either of these cases are true either. Be more self conscious about reposts.
Also, not everyone wants to see mutilated animals or people either. There are reasons behind this that could be more painful than you realize.
Large Font Typing
I won’t argue this can be annoying. I use to complain about it until I was told by several people I was having issues seeing. I’m not blind my any means, but smaller font — less than 12 and even 12 is hard to see at times for me — doesn’t work well for people who have worse vision problems than I do.
Before you complain about it, understand the person who is having an online conversation with you. It doesn’t matter if the conversation is through email, a chat site, in a commenting box, or whatever, sometimes it’s because they are having a hard time reading the text rather than shouting at you. Some instances, it may be both, but consider there is another reason for large text communication.
Just Being Hateful
Just being hateful to be hateful isn’t the best route to take either. Even if you believe you’re not being hateful, your choice of words can prove you wrong. I see this quite often all over the Internet. Being social is one thing, being hateful in spite of the argument is another. Tracking people down and being hateful through all means available isn’t doing your cause or yourself any good.
More By This Contributor:
Hateful People Use Facebook More, Study Shows
Job Interviewers Want Facebook Username and Password
Student Suspended Over Sleeping Teacher