This topic seems like common sense, doesn’t it? We’ve all heard of the nightmare stories where people get fired due to posting hilariously terrible content on social media. Furthermore, we’ve covered how it’s also part of the hiring process.
And yet, it seems like many developers, young and old, beginning or ending their careers, are posting inappropriate content on everything from Twitter, to Instagram. Honestly, it’s a problem, people. Teenage days are over, and as adults, it’s time to take work seriously. It may not seem like social media is tied to work, but it is. Everyone reads it, even if you think no one is watching. The minute you submit a resume, there’s someone out there looking for dirt on your feed. Here’s some advice for making sure your social media profiles are clean and ready to show off!
- Don’t Post Sketchy Pictures: Seriously, stop posting pictures of the weekend binge, or the house party your friend had. You’re not in college anymore, you’re a developer. If you’re going to party, at least do something a little classier, and oh, don’t post about it! You lived the moment, you attended, and that should be enough. Records of the event aren’t needed, and no one cares. Except your (potential) boss. Share albums privately if you have to, but be careful about your visibility settings!
- Don’t Curse or Post Inappropriate Content: This means the use of foul language is discouraged, and posting something your troll of a friend sent you, is probably a bad idea. If you feel weird posting about it, or you’re laughing at something that you know others may or may not consider offensive, then refrain from posting it. People follow you for being a developer, and they don’t need the unpleasant surprise of being violated by your posts.
- Don’t Follow Sketchy People: This means if you should refrain from following actors and actresses known for their risky roles, seedy icons, or the kind of people that DO post terrible content. If you want to read up on these things, then read up on it, but don’t follow these people. What’s a hiring manager going to think if he/she looks through the list of people you follow?
- Don’t Assume That Everyone Will Find Your Content Funny: This is the worst mistake ever – assuming that your sense of humor is all-encompassing. Not only is it annoying, it can also limit your list of followers. The fewer followers you have on social media, the less of a reach you ultimately have.
- Post Pictures Related To Your Industry: Truth is, people who follow you do so because you’re a developer. That means they’re following you expecting to see gaming images, maybe some action shots of behind the scenes at a studio, etc. If they follow you, and mainly see images having to do with crude content, or even just bland personal content, then they’ll unfollow you.
- Remember, Give More Than You Ask For: This is the best rule of thumb to follow, because human nature is selfish. People follow accounts that offer them something, whether it’s knowledge, advice, a feel-good feeling, or entertainment. Giveaways, if you’re into that. But if all you ever do is ask for favors, they won’t be inclined to follow through. People are simple – they want to give to people they feel they have an established connection with. If you invest in establishing that connection, and keep it alive, you’ll have a great following.
- Follow The Right People: As a developer, you should be following people in the industry. People that can help land you a job! Other developers, creative directors, level designers, writers, journalists, etc. By following the right people, your career options expand, and you start to get followed by these people in return. You’re suddenly a serious developer! Look at that.
- Join Groups, & Interact With Other Industry Leaders: The common mistake people make on social media is making an account, posting things, and expecting people to follow. That’s elementary. You’ll never get many followers that way. And trust us, you want the followers. More followers means more career opportunities. Join groups, interact with people, and work on establishing connections!
If this list of do’s and don’ts seems a little basic, then congratulations, you must be one of the developers that uses social media intelligently. If you’re sitting there thinking “but I need a space to post all those crazy cat videos,” consider managing two separate accounts on social media platforms. If you absolutely need to post all that crude content, just make a separate account, and please, don’t add your name or photo to it. It’s just better that way. Last thing you need is people associating you with it, because that defeats the purpose of having two accounts.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to maintain a clean image on social media, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Even Tumblr and Pinterest. By maintaining a clean image, you impress hiring managers, and you have a higher chance of getting hired/keeping your job. As a developer, you have a professional image to uphold, and a duty to your followers: to post the content they expect you to post. After all, that’s why they follow you, isn’t it?