A reputation management expert reveals what not to post on social media and what you should be posting instead to protect your career prospects.
Based on previous social media posts and comments, Rose Sheldon, MD of British business reputation management firm Ignite, revealed that companies are not looking to hire someone they think could be problematic online.
You just have to look at the recent high-profile cases of Kanye West, who was removed from YouTube due to his antisemitic tweets by Adidas, and influencer Andrew Tate, for alleged online misogyny.
She said: ‘Companies are given subtlety by real people, who make human decisions. Organizations strive to project an ideal of external presentation, and maintain a culture of how the people who work for them are expected to behave.
Rose revealed that companies don’t want to employ someone they think could be problematic online based on past social media posts and comments (stock image).
‘This is important because consumers form opinions about companies based on what they see online – and this informs their employees’ online behaviour.
Research by Igniyte, which helps firms deal with negative online reputation issues, found that 71% of UK businesses said social media posts are the most damaging content affecting their online image.
Reputation management expert Rose Sheldon (pictured) reveals what not to post on social media, why it could hurt your chances of getting a job, and what you should be posting instead
While 12% said they experienced online reputation issues due to the conduct of their employees. Companies don’t want to be shown online, or represented negatively by their employees.
An increasing number of employers and recruitment agencies are working on what they can see and learn about you online before offering you a job.
There are definitely some social media posts you should be careful with (or avoid) when considering their potential impact on your career.
You also need to think about how certain social media activity may disrupt other people’s perception of you, or even damage your online reputation.
There are the kinds of posts that can get you fired or even reprimanded…
1. Posting about intoxicated acts or risky content
Even if companies don’t want to admit it, an increasing number of them search you online – LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (especially Twitter) – before deciding whether to whether you want to rent or not.
They’re looking for offbeat comments, ill-advised actions, or maybe signs that you might be a bit of a troublemaker.
Risky content such as being on OnlyFans and promoting it on social media can also get you in trouble. A teacher was recently fired for her OnlyFans account and her social posts related to it.
Another thing to be careful about is if you are on sick leave (and may not actually be sick), stop before posting pictures of you having fun or drinking on the days you were sick.
This may affect any ongoing HR investigations or absentee management processes you may be involved in.
2. Talking bad about your company (or boss)
This is an obvious thing, but not everyone realizes it. Absolutely avoid any online mention of disliking your company, manager, or co-workers.
And don’t share anything that could show your employer in a bad light (or a light they wouldn’t appreciate being shown). Keep the whining or sharing of behind-the-scenes information offline only.
A good example of what not to do (although in some ways it came across as great whistleblowing) was the Greggs worker in January who uploaded some negative TikTok content about the London Greggs store she worked in wrecking . load of food
Perhaps it was well-intentioned, but either way, companies don’t like you sharing controversial content about them and potentially damaging their brand.
Be sure that if you are filming or taking pictures of anything inside your workplace, you know that it is not going to get you in trouble. Unless you’re really trying to do some whistleblowing like the Greggs worker and have already prepared to be fired.
3. Sharing your opinion about celebrities or ‘hot takes’ on burning issues
The other is painstakingly clear (at least for career implications) – don’t post anything that could be construed as racially motivated, sexist, homophobic or transphobic posts and comments.
While you are entitled to have your own views, companies may find your online ‘hot take’ on a certain segment of the population, or your scathing public views on a celebrity, not very subtle, and you may want to avoid them. decides. like the plague.
Most companies don’t want to be associated anywhere near these things. It is often best to debate these things offline than online.
That in itself is worth thinking about – do I need to post this for any reason that is worth my livelihood?
4. Hitting Back at People Who Annoy You
It can be tempting to respond quickly online to a comment that bothers you – but this could mean you are being perceived as an online abuser, or even seen as a cyber bully Is. You can get caught up in it, even if you think you are harmless.
Perhaps you get into football Twitter arguments with other fans and take it a little too far, maybe you like to comment harshly on a celebrity’s online presence, or maybe you just unnecessarily negative posts about someone. Do it.
Even if you think you’re being light-hearted, if you’re seen overstepping the mark (making personal comments in the heat of the moment), companies can find you online and value you. You may be disrespectful.
It can be tempting to respond quickly online to a comment that bothers you – but this could mean you are being perceived as an online abuser, or even seen as a cyber bully Is. You may be trapped in it, even if you think you’re harmless (stock image)
5. Oversharing on LinkedIn
One thing that companies are now looking at when hiring is the type of posts and attitudes people display on LinkedIn.
It’s all the rage to overshare on a networking site. Whether it’s your personal political views, sharing your mental health struggles, tall tales about dramatically resigning from a role, your latest selfless act at the local Starbucks, or squabbling over leadership styles.
It’s okay to have an online persona – but other companies, potential future employers, or future clients, will be watching and making judgments about you and your over-the-top posts. If you become one of those people who overshares on LinkedIn it can go against you.
Always keep posts and comments on LinkedIn professional, friendly and results-oriented. No matter how bold you are – try to stay away from any posts and comments that are controversial, political, over-the-top-philosophical, or too-personal-information in nature.
Your efforts to be a thought leader may have the adverse effect of making people think that you have too much to say for their liking.
You might have been posting something (especially if it was political) that hurt someone or rubbed them the wrong way because you wanted to ‘make a point’ – either when you posted it did, or while they were watching you.
Don’t turn into the ‘crying CEO’ of a marketing agency who is making headlines after uploading a video of himself upset over firing just two members of staff.
People at LinkedIn felt he was not taking action to support his employees, seeking self-absorbed attention. One publication called him ‘a tone-deaf narcissist’.
This didn’t go down well – she got completely the wrong kind of attention on LinkedIn (for a quick attempt to become a thought leader) that could affect her future career moves.
Think before you post on LinkedIn. You should be respected on LinkedIn for credibility and helpful posts, not hot takes, debates and self-absorbed posts.
Also be careful not to become a ‘cringe’ on LinkedIn – again future employers and potential clients may choose to avoid you – look for clingy, aspirational posts on LinkedIn celebrating even the most mundane tasks.
Roz Sheldon is Managing Director of Igniyte, a specialist agency helping businesses improve their online reputation and negative perceptions issues, igniyte.com