It’s no secret that LinkedIn is a hotspot for recruiting and networking, even for frontline managers in Hospitality. And if used correctly, even Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can become an asset to those looking to strengthen their professional reputation. However, if used incorrectly, these platforms can stall the career of even the most talented hospitality professionals. Here are six common professional social media profile pitfalls to look out for:
You Forgot About Your Privacy Settings
Privacy settings are both a blessing and a curse. If you don’t have any setup, then colleagues and employers can see everything. For example, without the right LinkedIn filter, current colleagues can see if you are actively seeking a new job. Or a potential employer could have full access to embarrassing photos from college. But if you have too many privacy settings, it can be impossible for others to initiate contact with you.
You Have a Social Media Twin
If you search for yourself on any major social media platform, you will probably find a surprising number of people with the same name as you. If someone could be mistaken for you, make sure your profile distinguishes itself. Include up-to-date locations, education, and occupations. If you go by a nickname (Jim as opposed to James) be sure to use that across all platforms.
Your Profile Picture is Terrible
While networking in hospitality is not a beauty contest, sometimes it can be hard to look past an inappropriate, poor quality, or even non-existent profile picture. If your profile does not have a recognizable picture of you, how can someone you met in person or on the phone be sure they are connecting with the right person? It doesn’t have to be magazine cover quality. But it should be recent, clearly show your face, and of good quality.
You Set it and Forget it
Your professional social media profile needs to reflect who you are today, not who you were five years ago. At the bare minimum, your occupation and the city you live in should be up to date. But to truly take advantage of social media, especially LinkedIn, keep updating your skills, connections, and promotions. Continue to update your profile as your career and life progress, not just when looking for the next opportunity.
You Fall into the Negativity Spiral
While it can be tempting to use social media as a place to vent, that can backfire quickly. Keep your content focused on sharing valuable industry insights, events, and news. If a hiring manager sees that you frequently bash your current work situation, they will quickly move on.
You Aren’t on Social Media…at all!
While there are some perks to unplugging, it could be detrimental to your professional image. Employers will almost always do a quick internet search of candidates. And according to CareerBuilder, 41% of employers say that they might not even interview a candidate if they can’t find them online. You may even consider customizing your profile page’s URL to be more easily findable (here is a great resource on how to do that).
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