Over the past decade in particular, social media has become an essential part of the majority of our lives. We share information about our personal lives including families, children, friends, and community. We share our opinions and perspectives. We share our live events and changes. While this has become the norm for many, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any consequences for what is shared online. It’s important to understand how information shared on social media platforms in your person time and community can impact your professional opportunities.
While LinkedIn has been a professional platform, many hiring managers, recruiters, and employers are looking towards more personal social media platforms such as Facebook. Instagram, and Twitter as a way to understand and check up on job candidates, as well as current employees. This suggests the major importance of monitoring your online presence and what it could say about you.
To assess this, Idealist.org put out an article outlining some considerations to take into account as you evaluate your online presence and behavior. The following are a few that we at CAC found particularly salient to the cancer patient and survivor experience.
- Understand how social media can hurt you. More than 50% of employers have made the decision not to hire a candidate based on what they found online. Some social media content that led to these rejections included: denigrating previous employers/coworkers, lying about qualifications, poor communication skills, and inappropriate posts.
- Identify the biggest mistakes you may be making. Not all social media presence and activity is looked at negatively but there are certainly some actions to avoid. Posting frequently during office hours can suggest a poor work ethic. Complaining publicly about your work/manager/coworkers/clients is a bad look. Using excessive profanity or posting provocative content can send the wrong message about your ability to behave as a professional.
- Audit yourself. Keeping tabs on what your online presence says about you allows you to control the narrative. Every so often it's a good idea to do a good search of yourself, reevaluate your posted content, examine your activity with a more critical eye or the perspective of a hiring manager and make the decision if this is the persona and professional image you want to be projecting.
CAC focuses on the online space frequently because not only can it be very influential on a patient or survivor's ability to obtain employment and/or keep it, but also because it is something that an individual can be in control of. Telling your professional story online is important and with the right understanding and tools it is possible to put your best foot forward online.
Feel free to use some of CAC’s resources and services in order to ensure you’re projecting the accurate professional image of yourself:
- Read up on our articles focusing on Your Online Footprint, which include Managing Your Online Reputation and Building and Protecting Your Online Image
- Understanding disclosure decisions in the context of the Job Search
- View past webinars in our Video Archive that focus on Building an Effective LinkedIn Profile and Using Social Media to Tell Your Best Story
- Register and join us for our upcoming live webinar on Disclosure, Privacy & Online Brand
- Feel free to reach out to Cancer and Careers at firstname.lastname@example.org directly with a specific question or concern regarding social media and your online presence