Below are some common mistakes made by job seekers when using social media in their job search. We hope that you look at mistake to learn from it and not repeat them yourself. What you must realise with social media, when mistakes are made the news or fallout from it can spread very fast e.g. bad reputation, lack of attention etc.
Social media, just a tool
There is a lot of excitement about social media and add to it all the hype of success stories then individuals get caught up in it all. They start to believe that they will achieve this success too and it will happen instantly. Whether new or old at using it, they tend to believe that these tools are their magical portal to success. However, in fact they are just a tool to be used to help support your efforts of achieving your goal of getting a job.
You should always treat social networking as you do in-person networking. Build & develop your relationships over time and with care & attention. Your social media outlets are simply tools, an extension of your in-person networking to help you not only connect to more individuals but to also make a good impression of yourself to the people who matter.
They forget when developing profiles that it is the view of the employers/recruiters that count, not their own opinion of what they have created. Successful people on social networking sites don’t overly obsess about how spiffy their profiles look or what they’ve done in the past. The masters of social networking have good-looking and well-worded profiles, but they focus their time on interacting with potential employers and talking about how they can help them.
Learn from these masters. Focus your messaging on solving other people’s problems and explaining how you can help their business or department.
An incomplete or outdated online presence
No matter which social media platform you decide to use in your social networking efforts, it’s very important that you do whatever it takes to complete a profile. You must put your best image forward to gain the attention of the employers & recruiters. If you aren't prepared to give it 100 percent, then don’t bother with profile in the first place. A half-finished profile will do more harm than good as it will paint a bad image of you and your abilities e.g. your lazy, poor attitude, can’t finish things etc!
If you have an outdated profile out there, then this means you risk looking inconsistent. As your personal brand changes and evolves, your newer profiles begin to differ more and more dramatically from the old ones that aren’t being maintained, and it just looks like you don’t care. Nothing is worse for your personal brand than a Twitter account with only three posts from two years ago! If you not going to use a social profile no more, delete it. Stick to the ones you intend to maintain and develop.
Too little personal information
Revealing a vast amount of personal information isn’t always going to help you in your job search, but leaving out all personal information can really hurt your chances of standing out in the job market. After all, the name of the game these days isn’t just what you can do but who you are and what makes you different. Who you are does matter to employers & recruiters.
Including a few well-chosen items about your personal life can do wonders for rounding out your image. By opening up about yourself, you make it easy for others with similar interests to relate to you.
For example, a friend’s son included on his LinkedIn profile that he’d hand-crafted a guitar over the summer. The hiring manager for an internship he applied to turned out to be a guitar enthusiast. Guess who was chosen for the most competitive internship that year!
Lack of understanding of the etiquette
Not having a good understanding of the rules of one social network versus another is a major mistake because what’s acceptable on Twitter may be considered a negative on LinkedIn. So listen to and watch other people engage in each social network first before doing so yourself.
Sometimes, of course, you may have a message that’s appropriate on several networks, but for the most part, interacting and engaging with your audience in the way each individual network expects is the best option. It stops you from either creating issues that could harm your reputation or ruin your efforts.
It would also be best to avoid services that blast out the same message to multiple networks at the same time. You don’t want to mix your social messages into your professional network & vice versa (this has happened before).
Not knowing their audience
Make sure your messages are appealing to the people who read them. You must know that you are trying to appeal to a select audience. However, this is not always the case. An example of this would be blogging. Some still think that it’s about writing personal information about their life for all to see. In fact, the best type of blogs that are written are for a specific reason and a defined audience.
As a job seeker, your audience will likely be other professionals in your industry, potential employers & recruiters. These people don’t want to see your political views, religious views, or anything else that may cause controversy. Instead, focus on what makes you different, the value you can bring to the table, and your level of understanding and motivation about a field.
Ignoring face-to-face networking
Even though technology is becoming a bigger part of the job search these days, it hasn’t replaced the tried and tested methods that have worked for years. One of these things is good old face to face networking. It can have a high impact communicating with someone face to face, more than emailing or status updates, tweeting etc.
You should strive to meet individuals in person. Your online presence/brand will only tell the employers, professionals & recruiters only so much about you. Meeting in person will allow them to get to know you more. You should also seek out in-person networking opportunities such as attending job/career fairs, industry events etc. You can reach new people who are not online or you never thought of reaching out too. If you have a chance to meet individuals in person then do so!