While polar bears are fascinating, polarizing your job search with negative activities is generally a really bad idea. I had a fascinating conversation with a client today about her concerns about online presence.
I was coaching her on successful LinkedIn strategies and she shared her concerns about using social media in her job search. As I do often, we discussed how to best represent her brand on LinkedIn.
Why should you avoid content that is polarizing?
When you create or share content that is volatile or polarizing, which much content is today, think about the reader. It is easy to only think about spreading your own opinion but the reality is that your content can be read by anyone.
Maybe you don’t care if you hurt people’s feelings as long as your message is heard but what about your job search? Are you willing to take the chance the person who may hire you thinks completely opposite? Or maybe the hiring manager just doesn’t want to take the chance on someone with such volatility?
How do you market yourself online strategically?
Even if you target roles that focus on politics or social justice, keep your online presence professional. The board of directors of organizations are not always extreme. Board members and officers may not want to take the chance on someone who spouts out condemnation of alternative viewpoints online.
Tips to be successful online in a job search or marketing
- Does what you share fit your brand? Will it attract the right readers?
- Read content before sharing it. A headline isn’t necessarily what is in the article.
- Make sure what you share is reputable and real.
- Watch out for click bait. Sensational headlines are often created by hackers whose goal is to get you to click links that open the door to scams or viruses.
- Recognize that even what you think is private can be found.
- Think whether you would say the same thing in a job interview. (If the answer is yes because you don’t care, be prepared to lose the job opportunity.)
- Ask yourself if you really need to share it at all or are you just mad right then? We suffer from over sharing, thinking that we need to be vindicated by the likes and shares of our polarizing content.
Can we expect more polarizing times in the future?
I think social media plays a key role in creating divisiveness and lack of unity. The sharing of things is easy. 10 years ago, you couldn’t reach a million people as a common citizen. Today you can reach millions with one Tweet.
If you are struggling in your job search, don’t make it worse by creating an online presence that repels. Be strategic and cautious. Most of all, be a professional!
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