Social Media and Your Career: Do’s and Don’ts To Protecting Your Online Reputation

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Social Media and Your Career: Do’s and Don’ts To Protecting Your Online Reputation

social media do's and don'ts for your career


In recent years, as social media has continued to grow, it’s come to have another new function: recruiting tool. This can have many benefits to both recruiters and job seekers. Recruiters can access a deeper and more informed talent pool, and job seekers can often find that coveted personal connection with the recruiter. Meanwhile, both groups have a more direct connection to one another.

However, this can also present some challenges for job seekers. Just as there are certain things you would never do or say in the workplace, you now need to consider what potential employers might be able to glean from your online presence. Keep these simple dos and don’ts in mind to ensure you’re putting your best, most hirable foot forward online.


DO: Maintain a professional online profile

Nowadays, it is expected, more often than not, for a job candidate to maintain some level of online presence. In fact, if you can’t be found anywhere online, some employers may question whether you’ve kept up with digital trends, or if you’re qualified for a job that requires any level of digital or tech savvy. The best way to project a professional presence is by sharing content relevant to your industry and showcasing your expertise. For example, you might share and comment on relevant industry articles, or even start your own blog to discuss industry trends.


DO: Provide consistent background

Don’t assume employers will only be checking you out on LinkedIn. Look at all your social media profiles and make sure you present a consistent career history.


DO: Include professional accolades on your profiles

Particularly on LinkedIn, though other channels may be just as relevant to certain industries. Make sure your professional profile is filled out thoroughly, and tout your accomplishments. This is no place to be humble, so list those awards and achievements. While you’re at it, reach out to former supervisors and colleagues and ask for recommendations you can share on your profile.


DO: Check your privacy settings

Every social platform offers its own privacy preferences, and these can vary greatly from completely public to requiring potential followers to request permission to connect. Which setting you choose is a personal decision, but know that anything public is fair game, so make sure any content you share is working to your advantage. For example, share any business awards publicly, but secure or remove anything that could potentially be considered unprofessional or inappropriate.


DO: Follow groups/pages relevant to your career and job search

Don’t just follow these, but interact with them. Comment and engage in discussion. Showing this kind of interest and expertise in your industry is the type of social media interaction that could potentially give you the edge over the competition.


DON’T: Use “text speak”

Again, anything public should be professional. Make sure you use good grammar and appropriate language in all your posts. In the social media age, you make your first impression before the first meeting. It may seem like no big deal to write in shorthand, or “text speak,” and for some employers it may not be. However, it’s always better to err on the side of professionalism, especially since two-thirds of employers report to looking down on spelling and grammar mistakes on social media. (


DON’T: Post inappropriate info or photos

This should go without saying, but unfortunately, it doesn’t. Don’t post anything publicly that may be questionable to a potential employer. This isn’t to say every public photo should be in a suit and tie, but you certainly want to showcase your best when displaying hobbies and community service, for example. On the other hand, you’ll want to make sure controversial images and topics remain private – if online at all.


DON’T: Post job news online

There are many reasons for this. First, you don’t want to jeopardize your current position by posting about your job hunt. You could also risk a potential offer by doing so. Employers value discretion, and if you’re sharing news about your search, it might raise concern that you will also share sensitive company information. Even once an offer is in hand, these are typically confidential, so wait to share that publicly until you are officially updating your profiles with your current position – once you are in it.


Visit the ISG Career Center to upload a resume, create a job profile and view current opportunities.