Social media pitfalls to avoid chef
Without a doubt, social media offers a variety of benefits and opportunities for chefs looking for their next job. However, these opportunities don’t come without some potential pitfalls – so here’s our top list of things to steer well clear of:
Lying about your work history and qualifications
Doing this in any way, shape or form is a no-go! The rise of social media profiles makes it a lot easier for potential employers to uncover false information. Your work experience, as shown on LinkedIn or Facebook, should match the CV that you send to employers. Your information should be consistent across all networks.
Posting offensive comments anywhere social
Any use of profanity or offensive language will reflect negatively upon you, so avoid status updates and comments that could be interpreted as racist, sexist, criminal or discriminatory in any way (even if you assume that no one would take it seriously…someone could, and that someone could have been your future boss.)
Badmouthing a former employer, colleague, supervisor…etc.
This should be a no-brainer, but it never ceases to amaze us how many people still air their ‘dirty laundry’ about past or current employment situations without considering the consequences. If you give someone the impression that you’ll badmouth them once you part ways, it’s unlikely they’ll even consider hiring you. Also, beware of the ‘I’m so bored,’ or ‘this work stinks’ posts as these short sentences say an awful lot about you as a person and a future employer will pick up on this. And, of course, revealing any snippets of confidential company information is 100% off-limits.
Not doing good with your grammar (doing well!)
Yes, even with 140 characters in a tweet, using correct grammar is key! Its true that an employer wants you for your skill in the kitchen, but all first impressions count so don’t make a poor first impression by using subpar grammar. If your Facebook posts are consistently sporting spelling errors, incorrect usage, or odd abbreviations, potential employers are going to pick up on this when they do a ‘social search’ of you during the recruitment process. Check your grammar and spelling to make sure that it’s top notch.
Sharing questionable pictures.
Whenever you upload a new photo, keep in mind that the wrong picture could easily go viral. Your friends might decide to share the pictures on their (public) networks. Or, even worse, tag you, and now all someone has to do is type your name into a search engine, and voilà… Look. At. You. Don’t let this happen. Adjust your privacy settings so prior approval of tags is required, and keep any inappropriate pictures offline (and as far away from potential employers as possible).
Venting, venting…and more venting.
We understand that there are days where you need to let off steam, but as tempting as it may be to express your anger and frustration with 1000 of your closest friends on Facebook or Twitter, it may come back to haunt you. So, if you’re angry or upset, give yourself time to cool off, or go to the gym and sweat it out. Never post anything in the heat of the moment – once it’s out there it can be difficult to get it back and potential employers are likely to come across it.
Social networks encourage you to share information with your friends, but there are limits. One way to avoid this is to not make your online presence all about you. Share some interesting articles and videos (as well as great pictures of your plated food!) That way you’ll show that you have something meaningful to say other than what’s on TV tonight or pictures of cats! In short: know what to share, when to share it and with whom. Maintain a level of professional aloofness by limiting the content you upload.
Joining questionable groups or discussions
Who doesn’t enjoy networking with like-minded people? If you are actively searching for a chef job, joining industry related discussions and groups is a great way of showing initiative and passion for your field of expertise. However, be careful about the more ‘casual’ groups you can join. If you belong to the “I don’t get drunk, I get proper wasted!” group, you may want to consider leaving it or giving what you do post a sense check before hitting the submit button.
Ignoring what everyone’s saying on your networks
Pay attention. You probably won’t have time to check all your networks regularly, so using a social monitoring service such as Hootsuite can really help you manage your professional online image across multiple networks. With most of these services you’ll receive instant notifications if there is inappropriate content on any of your profiles. And it goes without saying that the sooner you fix the content, the better.