There’s no denying that Social Media is a dominant force in many peoples lives now. It’s a 21st century norm. But, with this new standard comes a gray area wherein people’s personal and public personas can often crossover. And, it just so happens that nearly all who participate in or on social media are – or want to be – an employee somewhere. This is where things can get tricky for you and your Instagram feed.

With more and more employers scrutinizing potential employees Facebook pages and Tweets prior to hiring them, content is key. Your pics, posts and all that lie between are being viewed under a microscope. So, to avoid being fired, or having a non-hire worthy petri dish for companies to see, follow these easy Social Media Do’s & Don’ts for career success.

Do – Have A Social Media Profile
You have your own brand and it began the day you were born. Social media simply allows you to communicate that brand with so many more people. Be mindful of what your brand represents and how you are communicating it because social posts never go away.

Do – Have A Professional Page Such As LinkedIn If You Are Not Willing To Accept Colleagues As Social Friends
Something important to note here is that you will be connected to someone that knows someone at work, so people will know that you have a personal page. Some employees choose to have a professional page in addition to their personal page but also be aware that some people at work may be able to view your page through connected friends.

Do – Use Your Social Media Pages To Promote Your Peers And Your Company And Their Events
There is tremendous value in an employee that is spreading the word on the company’s success and encouraging others. This can be a part of your unique value proposition.

Do – Be Aware Of The Platform You Are On
Utilize LinkedIn for business exclusively. This means you need to adhere to using a business profile and professional picture. Don’t post pics of you at a party from Friday night unless there is a good tie back to how this is driving business for you.

Do – Edit Your Social Media Posts
Don’t allow for typos and misspelled words to flood your feed. Be aware that excessive typos can send a message that you are uneducated or careless.

Do – Show How Savvy And Creative You Are
Own your unique strengths and showcase them through social media. Give others a chance to get to know how unique and special you are from afar with artsy or creative pictures of your work etc.

Don’t – Use Social Media To Attack Others
Even if you don’t think anyone will see it, I promise you they will. I’ve had employees post about not liking other employees and this always ends badly. Keep your squabbles to face-to-face discussions with your direct manager and anyone you are having issues with, not with a global social platform.

Don’t – Post About Your Relationships Unless You Want To Invite Your Work Into Your Personal Life
This is a personal choice and needs to be thought out carefully. Don’t post pictures of yourself partying. Do I really need to explain this one?

Don’t – Post Pictures That You Don’t Want Seen By Your Boss Or Their Spouse
When I am recruiting people I search for them on all social handles and I search for connections we have in common. It is not impossible to get a glimpse of someone’s feed even if you are not connected. Be aware of the image you are projecting.

Don’t – Think That Your Current Employer And Potential Employers Aren’t Auditing Your Posts Because They Are
This is shaping how others view you at work, so be sure to use it to your advantage. And, yes, “Big Brother” is watching as I’ve had screen shots of employees posts sent to me by other employees that are connected to someone that I am not. Remember that social posts happen and can be shared via a screen shot to someone you didn’t want to see it.

Don’t – Make Disparaging Comments About Your Employer
This is grounds for termination in many companies.

Don’t – Post In The Middle Of The Day When You Are Supposed To Be Working
You very well may be called in by your supervisor inquiring what you have been doing that day instead of your work.

In closing, social media can be a phenomenal asset when used wisely. So, use it to HELP you, not HURT you at work – or when looking for work.