If you’re like many of us, you’re always willing to make more money, even if it means doing (a little bit) more work. That being said, you may be attempting to use some form of social media in order to pick up new clients or business contacts. Here’s a list of ten things that can cause you to lose opportunities faster than Lindsey Lohan goes back into rehab.
1. Putting up silly photos of yourself in your profile. Yes, this is usually something we all do and it can be really funny for people you know, but do you seriously want potential business contacts to see you toppled over on the ceramic tile floor of a Mexican restaurant bathroom, still wearing a sombrero? Please don’t think that I don’t enjoy seeing things like that because I do, I really do, but it’s not something that most people are going to look at and think “now this girl looks like she knows ALL about PHP and has a wealth of marketing knowledge that can lead my team in a new direction for the next 5 years.” Unless of course you happen to be wearing a shirt that boasts about your knowledge of PHP…and if you’re wearing a shirt like that, you’re a serious dork.
2. Joining Facebook groups that are asinine to most people. Groups such as these include, but are in no way limited to, gerbil/hamster bloggers, people looking to get laid in Tampa, Absolutely addicted to PUSSY CAT DOLLS show!!, Unicorns And Rainbows, and SEO Chicks. Ok kidding about that last one. It’s a serious group comprised solely of SEO intellectuals.
3. Listing your activities/hobbies as anything that includes something illegal. Sure you light up a big doobie every night but the guy looking to hire an SEO consultant for $300 an hour might not really think that’s cool. Same goes for necrophilia and driving over the speed limit. If you’re involved in something incredibly nefarious like that, don’t put it on your PROFILE for god’s sake. Actually, if you ARE involved in necrophilia, DO put that on your profile so that the rest of us can shun you.
4. Listing an unprofessional email address in your contact information. While it’s nice that you have the ability to receive all of your cat news in RSS format at Lauren@WeLoveKitties.com, use the gmail one instead in this case.
5. Listing your transvestite porn site as one of your URLs, especially if you’re a model for it or you regularly post about how much better you can walk in 6 inch stilettos than the rest of us, you tramp.
6. Linking to people who are public enemies. This includes anyone who is well-known as a complete jerk in your field (like, for example, if Todd Malicoat, Rand Fishkin, and Rob Kerry all think you’re a total Mr. Meanie Pants.) Linking to said person will only cause you heartache and embarrassment. If you’re into that though, link away.
7. Uploading videos of yourself from back in college when you used to film extremely low-budget horror movies with lots of nudity, attend Klan rallies, or perform with a mime troupe. Trust me when I say that no one will hire an ex-mime.
8. Listing your previous work at places like Big Lots, Burger King, a funeral home, the DMV, or the headquarters of the local mime co-op. Basically if it’s not professional or relevant to what you’re doing now, you are better off skipping it. No one is interested in how you created the first organic goods area for Big Lots, seriously. I’m not dissing hard work at less-than-fabulous places but remember, you’re trying to look like someone who’s at the top of his or her field.
9. Writing intentionally stupid recommendations for colleagues who request it. Well, colleagues who request A GOOD recommendation. No one is going to request a stupid one. I hope. Yes this IS something I would really love to do, to be quite honest, but I don’t think it’s something that’s going to get you hired unless The Onion is looking for new employees. You might think it was highly amusing to make your male graphics designer wear a mint green plaid dress all day after he forgot his wallet at the Pakistani place down the road and you had to pay for his buffet lunch but this probably doesn’t need to be mentioned when he requests some professional feedback to display on his profile. Note to Scott: do not ask me for a recommendation. Even worse than writing something like this is POSTING it if someone does do it to you.
10. Finally, do not attempt to reconnect or make friends with anyone who has recently taken out a restraining order against you. That’s just not going to end well.