Social Media Strategies That Impress Employers

A negative online reputation makes you a liability to your employer. Conversely, a positive online image can make you more valuable. It's important to plan social media strategies that will impress future and current employers.

Employer/Employee Social Media Strategies in the News

Strict monitoring allows employers to spot potential problems early, get the information offline as quickly as possible and discipline the employees involved. –The Wall Street Journal

18 % of employers report that they've fired employees because of something they posted on social media. –CNBC

Why Should You Care?

Showing your positive, authentic self online goes far beyond making a good impression to potential future employers.

  • Showing your positive, authentic self online goes far beyond making a good impression to potential future employers. Focus on the impression you’re making on current employers, clients, and colleagues who search for you online
  • Your current employer might want to give you a more prominent position in the company or give you more responsibility. To do this, they may look at your online footprint before making an offer
  • Avoid damaging your upward mobility within the company
  • Some of your company’s clients will search for you—and if they discover something about you that rubs them the wrong way, it doesn’t only hurt your relationship with the client, it may hurt your company’s relationship with the client

Activities Employers Like to Discover on Social Media

Helping to organize events that relate to your industry.

  • Volunteering or helping others (in non-political activities) like working at a dog shelter, assisted living home, hospital, etc.
  • Being involved in topics you are passionate about that help others or help you grow as a person. That could include running for a cause, traveling, building cars, playing an instrument or other hobbies that make you more well-rounded
  • Helping to organize events that relate to your industry. If you’re not already plugged in with a professional association, consider asking how you can help. This will make you stand out with others in your field (and lead to great group photo opportunities for social media)

Activities You Might Consider Keeping off Your Social Media

Avoid sharing photos of your friends being irresponsible.

  • Photos of you holding alcohol at a party
  • Selfies of you sticking your tongue out (or flipping off the camera in a casual manner)
  • Inside jokes that are crude in nature
  • Photos of you at a famous landmark being disrespectful
  • Sharing photos of your friends being irresponsible
  • Illegal actions (or skirting the rules) and thinking it’s funny to share
  • Complaining about a past job, boss, or work-related situation
  • Bragging online about actions that could negatively impact your future (or others’)
  • Not being appreciative of good people, situations, and opportunities
  • Bragging about getting away with lying to a former employer or cheating them out of work time

This blog post is brought to you by Josh Ochs' new book, Light, Bright & Polite for Professionals which helps companies create a healthy culture around employee social media engagement and develop a social media policy. In order to create a solid social media policy for your business, it’s important to understand how your digital footprint and social media mistakes can hurt your brand.


What Can You Do?

Always ask yourself: What elements of my life do I want to share with others?

  • Always ask yourself: What elements of my life do I want to share with others?
  • It’s okay to be silly and make fun of yourself (not others) online, but if you’re venting, being hateful, or sharing personal drama, consider calling or texting a friend instead
  • Whenever it’s appropriate, ask to take a group picture at the end of successful projects
  • Be sure to include a sincere THANK YOU to the organization (and/or your friends) for the chance to participate. This looks great to employers and clients
  • When texting your friends, use all the shorthand or trendy acronyms you want. When posting online, go old-school and spell out words, use proper grammar, and write like the professional you want to be seen as
  • Create public Twitter and LinkedIn accounts where you share industry-relevant content and ideas (don't go overboard, choose wisely). This will demonstrate your passion and knowledge in your field