Twitter is one of our favourite social media platforms. Keep up to date, look for jobs, engage with like minded people. But be careful, your tweet could cost you your job.
All social media platforms should be treated with kid gloves when you are job hunting. Companies will check your social networks out before they hire you. And after you are hired, if you are too offensive be prepared to be fired or reprimanded. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that you control, not only in your posts but also in who you let see your information. Facebook is used for more personal posts - announcements, things you like, things you don't like, etc. It again is safer because you have to allow people to connect with you. Unless someone else tags you and then voila! - you are open to their list of friends. Most Twitter accounts on the other hand are open to everyone on the worldwide web.
When things happen on Twitter, they happen fast. Sometimes "trending" can be a bad thing.
What types of things should you never tweet about on Twitter or post on any social media platform?
- Your current company in a negative light
- Your current boss, make that even your previous boss either in a negative or funny light. OK maybe he was really drunk at the Company Golf Tournament, and you took a picture - don't post it, ever!
- Getting a little too cosy with the boss' wife could be a deal breaker too. Just to be careful leave your phone in your purse at company functions. What seems funny at the time, might not be 24 hours later.
- Racist comments are always a big NO/NEVER
- Justine Sacco a PR Exec with only 200 followers was fired over comments made on her personal account. (DailyMailUK)
- Sexist comments.
- 2 Toronto Firefighters were fired over sexist comments on their personal twitter accounts. (National Post Story)
- Ted Bishop, a very well respected PGA of America President, until he sent what he thought was a harmless tweet. (Golf.com)
- Accidentally posting on a company website, not only was the employee fired but Chrysler cancelled their contract with the agency where he worked. Huffington Post)
- Don't rant on Twitter - rants should be done in the privacy of your own home, preferably when no one is around.
- Don't joke about bombing or hurting someone.
- Watch out for tweets that could be breaking your company's confidentiality rules, this could not only result in you being fired but also in a court case.
Follow these "Rules of Thumb" when thinking about posting something:
- Don't post when you are intoxicated.
- Be careful posting late at night, it is harder to call something back if you are heading into bed. Do you really want to wake up and find out you have gone viral?
- The "24 hour" rule. If something is really bugging you, wait 24 hours to see if you calm down.
- Funny - maybe not when you look at it later. Funny comments in the privacy of your own home stay there. If you offend someone they can mention it right then. Funny comments on Twitter will probably be found offensive by someone so be careful.
- If you start to write something and have doubts about how it will be perceived. then delete it.
- Use the "Mom Test". If it won't pass Mom, then don't post it.
In this day and age is there anything truly private anymore? Have a little fun at your birthday party - *click* someone takes a picture. A conversation around the dining room table - someone tapes it. It isn't just affecting the rich and famous anymore. Everyone is under scrutiny. And this is especially true when job hunting. Keep your social media clean and your tweets scandal free!