Frances Fitzgerald explains the importance of networking and making sure your social media profiles do not reflect you in a negative light.
Networking and making connections is beneficial to people in any profession, offering an opportunity to expand your knowledge, to see things from a different perspective and also to have contact with others who have been in the position you are in today.
 
Talking to the right person could result in offers of employment or service, so keeping in contact with as many people as possible is best to widen your opportunities. 
 
Making an impressive and memorable impression can raise your profile. Getting noticed at events, whether business or social, can help get your name or business’ name into people’s conversations. 
 
Social media may be taking over, but word of mouth still travels fast, and having reliable and reputable people speaking about you can only build your image.
 
The process of networking and making connections is a two-way street, so always be ready to offer the name of a reliable person who deserves your commendation. If this offer is successful, it’s beneficial to all parties, and helping them, helps you.
 
LinkedIn is a specifically business-oriented site, mainly used for professional networking, and with over 20 million users today, it is the perfect way to connect and communicate in a professional manner.
 
Using this site, you can stay in contact with co-workers, employers and potential employers, without having to scour your timeline for possibly inappropriate posts.
 
Social media etiquette
We have all seen questionable content pop up on our newsfeeds from time to time, and often have to consider the sanity or common sense of the poster. However, more often than not it is acceptable, normal and sometimes dull content.
 
But what we might perceive as acceptable online behaviour, others may perceive as offensive or targeting. Taking into account different personalities and viewpoints, it is best to keep a literal, low profile.
 
Think before you post
Avoid posting comments or photos that you would not want employers to see. The ‘Work and Education’ section on Facebook offers users the chance to display their workplace as a part of their bio, so they are essentially representing their place of business. 
 
Because of this, personal and professional lines can blur, and while this may not present a problem if a person is projecting a positive image on social media, it becomes a problem if someone is posting inappropriate content.
 
By avoiding displaying your workplace and declining co-workers friend requests, it is possible to reduce the risk of running into trouble, though a level of discretion on social media is always advised.
 
Try to post on your own time
Social media sites are often banned in the workplace, but not always. Try to avoid social media activity while at work as posts always have time-stamps.
 
Conducting yourself in a negative way can be problematic if employers see activity that they find inappropriate, and these problems will be magnified if this negative activity occurs during office hours.
 
Privacy settings can go a long way to help avoid conflict, and implementing filters and hiding certain people from your timeline can be a great help.
 
Employers too
Being aware of what you post is not just a solid rule for employees, but also for employers. Discretion applies to managers and supervisors too, to ensure that they maintain a sense of professionalism and to avoid conflict. 
 
The same rules apply as with employees, with the option to prevent employees and co-workers from viewing what they post.
 
Using LinkedIn is not only a great way to network, communicate and make connections, but also to avoid social media conflict. 
 
It is the perfect social networking site for those who want to maintain some kind of contact on a social media platform, without having to strictly review what they post.
 
More and more employers are reviewing the content posted by job applicants today, so being aware of the type of person you portray through social media can save you a lot of hassle, before and after gaining employment.