How to be a star employee on social media

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Nov 04

When it comes time for hiring managers, managers within your company, or business partners to find out about you and your work, social media is the first place people go. Famously, we Google the name and the fun begins. Much has been made of the boss firing the employee after the employee disses the boss on Facebook along with many other examples. That won’t be repeated here; Cubicle Warriors don’t do dumb things like that.

But what if you wanted to represent yourself as the star employee you are right now? How would you do that through social media?

Here are five suggestions.

Use the right social media tool for your work

If you work for the Food Network, for example, Facebook has multiple fan pages devoted to the network and the stars of the network. It makes sense to use Facebook as the right social media tool of choice if you worked there.

If Facebook is too limiting for what you do, use Twitter and tie it to your other social media accounts.

LinkedIn is considered the “business” social media of choice, but it is not very real time. However, actively participating in groups that match your work and job skills makes good sense.

The key is if you want to show your star qualities as an employee, pick the social media that helps you show your work.

Post work stuff during work hours, family and friends after work

If you are supposed to be writing code, it doesn’t help your cause to post stuff about last night’s game. Or date. The time stamps on social media posts reveal what you are thinking and when you are thinking it.

Smart hiring managers look at the time stamps, see the non-work posts during working hours and casually pass on your resume or promotion. And you never knew you were removed from consideration for the position. Cubicle Warriors know how easily opportunities can slip away, so they focus on always being in a position to attract opportunities.

Always be positive about your work

Being positive doesn’t mean rah-rah. It means you want to post stuff that helps you show your star employee qualities you already have.

Consider, for example, the posting “going to a meeting.” I see this all the time on Twitter and Facebook. Doesn’t do much to show your job skills or work accomplishments, does it?

Instead, post about your accomplishments, your completed training and finishing tasks. Managers look for people that deliver results. If all you do is post that you are going to a meeting, you are not accomplishing anything.

Person one: “Going to a meeting.”

Person two: “Just completed SQL Server training. Completes my certification.” Or, “Just finished massive milestone on my large project. Really helps the company.”

Which person, given equal qualifications, would the hiring manager interview?

Never criticize your manager or management

My saying is this: What goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. If you accept the premise that you should never criticize management or company in an interview, why would you do that on social media and risk not getting an interview in the first place?

Unfortunately, the written word is not necessarily clear communication and people interpret the same sentence differently because of their experience and perspective. So if there is a hint of negativity, save it for your face to face meeting and leave the Internet to the Internet.

Add to the conversation

Social media isn’t all about you, of course. One of the purposes of social media is to be, well, social. Contributing to the conversation means posting links to articles that will benefit others that share your work skills. You offer constructive comments that build the conversation rather than shut it down.

Contributing quality information to the community shows you want to help others. When you consider that your “fit” into a new team is a strong consideration for getting hired, showing that you can contribute to others through social media helps the manager see your ability to fit on the team.

How much do you contribute to your connections?

Social media is a career tool

Cubicle Warriors view social media as one of their tools to support their career, not just a way to stay in touch and pass the time. It gives them a very unfair advantage over their coworkers who think social media is just for fun.

Wouldn’t you want that unfair advantage?

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.