We talk a lot at Cancer and Careers about how to think about social media—and the internet in general—when it comes to managing employment after a cancer diagnosis. Questions around disclosure, how to keep it updated professionally and what to do if there is content about you online that you wish wasn’t so readily available. You can find more information on this topic in some of our past blogs highlighting online reputation management, as well as in our guide to Your Online Footprint.
This week we hosted a virtual program on job search and one of the questions that came up was what constitutes inappropriate content online. From our perspective inappropriate doesn’t necessarily mean bad, it is rather about considering anything you have posted through the context of what is valuable and helpful for you to have online right now. Especially if you are looking for work. You want your digital footprint to support the professional version of yourself that you are “selling”.
So, what are things you might want to steer clear of or think about? For instance, generally, it is considered best practice not to include political-related info on your resume, cover letter or in your professional social media. Unless, of course, you in fact work in politics. It might include reviewing all your photos (those you’ve posted and those you are tagged in) to make sure, for instance, that all of them don’t have you holding a red solo cup—not that you couldn’t be drinking water, but that image has connotations. Or have you ever had a bad day at work and taken to social media to vent about it? That isn’t something you’d want your existing employer or coworkers to find, let alone a prospective boss. It is important to remember that no social media is as private as we’d all like it to be, so even on your non-professional accounts like Facebook you want to consider your activity.
It is also helpful to think about what you could be putting online right now to help support your work-related goals. If you’re job searching, do you have an interesting social media footprint that helps a prospective employer see you in the light you want to be seen? Do you have a hobby or volunteer role that would help show off your skills or expand your network? And, most importantly, is your LinkedIn profile up to date? If not, check out our Guide to LinkedIn.
Social media is a critical tool—and one with a long life—so thinking carefully about how you use it is really important.