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5 Maxims To Enhance Your Career Through Social Media

Follow these five maxims to enhance your professional image and career through Facebook, Twitter and other online social media.

Every week we read about someone who has run into trouble at work by doing something really stupid via social media, like the public school teacher who ranted about how dumb she thought her students were. Fortunately, few of us make huge mistakes like that, but we all need to be aware of our presence in the social media world and manage it to our professional advantage.

Follow these five maxims to enhance your professional image and career through Facebook, Twitter and other online social media.

Maxim #1: Always manage your privacy settings
Let's face it, few of us like to deal with control panels, but in the world of social media it's something we all have to do. And, outfits like Facebook seem to take great joy in tweaking the way they manage privacy settings. Make sure yours are set the way you want them. One good tool is to break down your contacts into lists—such as family, friends, business associates—so you can really fine tune who has permission to see your photos, notes and the rest.

Maxim #2: Communicate professionally
Don't start using text message abbreviations, bad spelling and abhorrent punctuation. Whether you like it or not, standard usage makes a good impression. Many professionals have worked very hard to develop excellent communication skills. If your posts look like the work of a preteen girl texting her bff, it will be noticed.

Maxim #3: Post a flattering profile picture
We all know the saying, "Always put your best foot forward." In the same way, always post a nice photo of yourself. Don't post the sepia photo you had taken at the county fair last summer when you and all your friends dressed up in wild west costumes. Make it a good head and shoulder shot that's fairly current. Also, don't post a group photo for your profile picture, it just makes new friends guess which one is you.

Maxim #4: Stay active
Don't live on Facebook, but keep your presence fresh, positive and productive. There's a whole cadre of users who seem to spend every waking hour posting smart-alecky comments in response to what others have said. Don't fall into that trap. Social media is a great way to engage people. You don't want a friend to wonder what has happened to you, go to your Facebook page and find that your last post is 17 months old. People who are just social media "friends" today could become clients or coworkers tomorrow.

Maxim #5: Hype yourself, very gently
You shouldn't always be banging your own drum, but if you have produced something in your professional life that would interest others, post it or link to it. If you, or your company, has been mentioned in the media, put up a link or comment on it. Also, be quick to praise other professionals you work with. One day, they will return the favor.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that the lives we live in the world of social media can have an impact on our professional lives. If you keep these five common sense maxims in mind as you navigate through the social media cyberspace, you can enhance your career and your professional image.

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Friday, 04 December 2020
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