Social Media- Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts

Woman holding sign

How to keep your profiles appropriate and your employers happy.

By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology

By nature, most successful beauty industry professionals are sociable and engaging. They enjoy interacting with others and spend many hours each day learning about their clients’ lives and sharing stories of their own while providing services, whether they’re cosmetologists, nail technicians or skin care professionals. As a result, the use of social media also comes naturally–sometimes a little too much so. While Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be valuable tools for building your brand and a thriving clientele when used correctly, public posts and tweets that lack an adequate level of professionalism can actually damage your career.

At a time when 81% of the U.S. population has at least one social media profile, 70% of employers are using social media to screen job applicants, and 18% of consumers consider social media presence when choosing a salon, it can make sense to spend some time cleaning up your online appearance. Do so before you finish your beauty school program, and you’ll be ready to job search with confidence.  What should you delete (and carefully avoid sharing in the future)?

Start with the following:

Provocative content – In CareerBuilder’s survey of employers, 39% said they rejected candidates because of provocative photos, videos or information shared on a social media profile. Keep in mind that ‘provocative’ doesn’t just mean sexual in nature. Provocative content may include any post or tweet intended to cause annoyance, anger or other negative reactions, so you might want to remove overtly political posts as well as bikini photos from your public timeline.

Content related to drinking or drug use – Thirty-eight percent of the employers CareerBuilder surveyed had rejected job seekers because of social media content related to alcohol or drugs. While there’s nothing wrong with posting about attending happy hour with a few friends or tweeting about the wine you’re enjoying at a local gallery opening, just do so responsibly.

Discriminatory comments – Negative posts about race, gender or religion caused 32% of the surveyed employers to reject job candidates. Any social media content that suggests you’re less than inclusive of any type of client is a surefire way to limit job prospects. This also brings about the potential of unintentionally turning clients away.

Bad-mouthing previous employers or fellow employees – While the salon industry has a reputation for drama (just think Beauty Shop or TNT’s Claws, for example), savvy real-world business owners are never eager to hire troublemakers. Remove these types of posts and tweets from your profiles immediately and, in the future, air your grievances in person to a sympathetic friend.

Proof that you’ve lied about your qualifications- When surveying employers, CareerBuilder found that 61% review job applicants’ social media profiles in search of information that supports their qualifications. However, 27% have rejected candidates when they actually found proof to the contrary. If you’re attending Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology, you’re learning everything you need to know to be successful in your first cosmetology, nail tech or skin care jobs. Posts about your classes and experiences at school can show potential employers that you’re enthusiastic about your future.

While there are plenty of potential career landmines to avoid when using social media, a professional online persona can actually increase your chances of securing a salon or spa job as well as attract more clientele for your services. If you don’t want to alter the way you engage in your personal life on social media, you may find it easier to set up separate professional Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter accounts and adjust the privacy settings on your personal profiles accordingly.

In CareerBuilder’s survey, 44% of employers said they had found content on social networking sites that actually caused them to hire the candidate. The primary reasons they did so? Posts that illustrated great communication skills (37%), a professional image (36%) and creativity (35%)—all things Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology graduates are certain to possess.