10 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

Written by: Lucy Walters
Published on: 18 May 2021

10 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

If you’re currently searching for your next pharma job, then you should be aware of how social media can both help and hinder your job search. When used well, social media can help you to build up a positive professional brand and create a good impression on recruiters. When used badly, it can ruin your chances of landing your next job and could even get you fired from your current one.

In this article, we outline some of the most common mistakes when it comes to social media, with advice on how to use it to make you stand out for the right reasons, whether you’re new to social media or an avid user of it…

Being too Private

Not being on social media at all or having too many private accounts could be a red flag for recruiters. Not only will it make it harder for them to verify you as a candidate, but having too many private accounts can make it seem like you’ve got things to hide. You don’t need to have public, professional accounts on every platform, but you should be clear on where you want to focus on building your professional brand the most.

Whilst LinkedIn is undoubtedly the place where you’ll likely build up your professional profile the most, you could also use platforms like Twitter for this too, leaving other platforms like Facebook for your personal use. Take the time to understand how people within your industry use social media, and push your professional brand in the places where they appear the most.

Using Poor Grammar

Even though social media platforms are a more informal way of communicating, if you’re using them for professional purposes then you should pay as much attention to your spelling and grammar as you would in other places. No matter how long or short your posts are, proofread everything before you hit ‘post’ to show good attention to detail and that you’re able to communicate effectively online.

Posting Too Much During Work Hours

If you’re already employed, then posting too much during working hours will make you appear unfocused on your work. Even if you aren’t working, you don’t want it to look like you spend all day on social media, as this won’t show that you have a variety of hobbies outside of work which recruiters do pay attention to.

Sharing Information That Employers Won’t Like

There are things that you should be careful about sharing online regardless of whether you’re currently employed or not. Here are some things that could put potential employers off you, or get you disciplined or fired from your current job:

  • Posting about bad work habits (e.g. complaining about being hungover at work)
  • Bashing your employers (current or previous)
  • Complaining about your job or talking about leaving before you’ve given notice
  • Anything discriminatory
  • Talking about a bad interview experience before you’ve heard back
  • Being abusive/threatening to other users, even if they’re your friends – employers won’t know this!
  • Anything that shows you taking part in illegal activity (e.g. talking about drugs)
  • Sharing too many negative job experiences such as being fired, being rejected, or talking about awful jobs you’ve had in the past

Connecting with Everyone

As we talked about in our recent article on networking on LinkedIn, quality is more important than quantity when it comes to how many people you connect with on social media. Before you click ‘connect’ make sure you find common ground between you and the person you’re reaching out to, and that they’ve got something of value to add to your network and vice versa.

Connecting with People too Soon

Researching interviewers and potential employers on social media before you meet them is a normal thing to do before interviews, but this doesn’t mean you should actually reach out to them. Sending a connection request before you’ve had an interview or been offered a job will seem presumptuous and will only make the interview more awkward. Stick to the same method of communication you’ve been using until you’ve been offered a job, or even wait for them to connect with you first.

Discrepancies Between Your CV and Online Profiles

Make sure that what’s on your CV matches the information on your professional social media accounts, as discrepancies between the two could be perceived as the result of poor attention to detail or even dishonesty, even if the discrepancy is down to a genuine mistake.

Using Unprofessional Photos

With your professional accounts, try to use a professional headshot across all your accounts to be consistent with your professional brand. Think about the images you share on your personal account too, as these could still be picked up on a Google search for you so make sure you think about how your personal posts reflect you too. 

Having an Inconsistent Professional Brand

You don’t need to share every part of your life with employers online, but you do need to have it clear in your mind which parts you are going to share and be consistent with this across every platform that you use. Building up a unique brand is one of the best ways to stand out in your job search, so really focus on making a lasting impression.

Think about the things that make you stand out the most and list the key things you want employers to be aware of, and make sure you highlight these on all your professional platforms.

Being Dishonest

It could be tempting to lie on social media to make connections or to gain popularity, and this is even the case for professional accounts too. If you’re actually invited to an interview or hired, and you’ve lied about your interests or accomplishments online, this could make you look dishonest if uncovered later down the line.

Turn Your Social Media Pages into Positive, Rather Than Negative, Spaces…

Remember that when used well, social media can really help you to build up your professional brand, stand out amongst other candidates and make your name stick in the minds of potential employers. Use it to showcase your passion for your industry, your awareness of current news and developments, and your ability to create a professional online brand, rather than hiding your potential behind lots of neglected, private and unprofessional accounts.

Visit PharmiWeb.Jobs for more careers advice, or to start searching for your next pharma job.