6 Social Media Updates Killing Your Job Search

There are times when what you don't say speaks volumes about your personal brand. These days you must be 100% aware of your reputation online. A large percentage of them are looking, evaluating, and deciding their next steps. My advice is to avoid disqualifying yourself over things you can control.

Social media is still a double-edged sword. If you're found, then the content is expected, and if not found, then employers are on to the next candidate.

1. Outdated updates.

I see this daily on Facebook and Twitter. People want to break the news but don't check the dates of the article. How disturbing is it when someone is posting an article about a celebrity's death from three years ago? But let's take this a little bit further. What impression is left when you post an update to a news article from three years ago? Or even a year ago? These same people who struggle with finding jobs and remaining employed seem to post the most out-of-date articles Bob Parsons, CEO of Go Daddy is right-- especially in social media, yesterday's news is irrelevant.

2. Inappropriate jokes

There are several I know employers hate to see. The one comment I heard recently (the employer will remain anonymous) is the ones promoting abuse and racial epitaphs. Politics and religion aren't as bothersome, but those personally attacking any candidate is disturbing. It makes most people feel uncomfortable after the first, but then when someone sends a steady stream of them makes the user seem like an awful person--to hire!

3. Updates from parody websites without acknowledging they are a parody website

The problem isn't the site, but it's your citing them as a credible source is a problem. Then your comments following just confirms the insidiousness of the actual update. If you want your timeline to be reliable and impressive to employers, you're shooting yourself in the foot and your pocket. Most of us assume you will post a verifiable source by checking other credible sources. These days a small blog can publish a credible article rarely seen, but it still needs verification from another source. Similarly, parody sites can post a reliable source, but parody is sprinkled throughout make the article insignificant.

4. Not having a social media profile or updates at all

You change your name so employers won't find your disparaging and vulgar updates, and now you have nothing. Companies need to know who you are, or they will seriously consider someone who they can collect hiring intelligence. Here is another problem--On Facebook, You change your name on your profile but you don't change your URL, employers will find you and your ridiculous moniker. Then all of the foolishness you've blessed them with to exclude you becomes easy.

5. No original thoughts, ideas, or stories

Curating content is OK for a short time, but if you want to provide value for an employer, you'll need ideas originated from your timeline. A good start would be adding your thoughts (excluding, "What do you think?") to your updates. It is not difficult nor time-consuming. It's just a thought. An original thought.

6. Not willing to defend and expand on the meaning of your post(s)

One assumption made on social media is when you post you're willing to discuss. I've seen some people post a controversial news article but when someone differs or challenges their source, the originator of the update then deletes it. It never occurs to the person this behavior has a negative impression to those who see the post. It's sort of like the kid who throws rocks, then hides his or her hands. Don't be that kid!

Let's be clear: Using social media can be the proof and the delivery of what you can do. It's not because you use it makes you a viable candidate. The distribution of your social profiles helps you to stand out. Otherwise, you are viewed as the other 100+ candidates applying for the same position. Hopefully, you'll understand your job search needs every bit of boost possible.

Author: Mark Dyson from the Voice of Job Seekers.