Are Your Social Media Profiles Sabotaging Your Pharmacy Career?

If you spend part of your day on Facebook, it should come as no surprise that your current or potential employer does the same.

Today, social media takes many forms, including blogs, business networks, and photo sharing.

A lot of pharmacists use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or Instagram to connect with family, friends, and colleagues. If you spend part of your day on Facebook, it should come as no surprise that your current or potential employer does the same.

Even though the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission questions the ethics of social media background checks, more than 90% of employers screen current and potential employees through their social media networks, according to the social media monitoring service Reppler. From a career perspective, Facebook and your other social media accounts can be both valuable and detrimental to your livelihood.

If, for example, your Facebook personality matches up with your work persona, hiring managers will view this as a plus. If, on the other hand, seemingly innocent pictures or comments on controversial subjects give off a negative vibe about your character and integrity, it may cost you a job interview or promotion.

You might think that not having social media profiles may be the way to go when applying for pharmacist positions, but steering clear of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram may give employers the impression that you’re not current with the latest technology trends or are hiding something. Instead, consider balancing your social media accounts in order to complement your work record or job application.

Start with a Google search

A great starting point for getting an idea of your reputation on social media is to Google your name. You’ll see related images, White Pages, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, newspaper articles, presentations, legal judgments, and more displayed.

Questionable posts and photos on social media sites are particularly a problem for recent college graduates looking to break into the job market. College lifestyle and behavior isn’t what employers want to see in prospective applicants. If your information is unflattering or inaccurate, go to the specific resource to eliminate or correct it.

Differentiate between Facebook and LinkedIn

A lot of pharmacists describe LinkedIn as a professional Facebook. Launched in 2003, its mission is to connect like professionals to make them more productive and successful.

Facebook, on the other hand, is used by individuals for social networking with family and friends and also serves as an official website for many businesses like community pharmacies, social organizations, and groups with common interests to connect with each other.

Give your LinkedIn account a professional presence. Use a headshot as your profile picture, and build your LinkedIn brand into a pharmacy-based resource by seeking out pharmacists, organizations, industry groups, and employers. Add an active professional blog or website to LinkedIn, and gently refer friends and family who don’t fit your professional brand to add you on Facebook instead.

Only post what’s appropriate for the general public

While you may have presented yourself in a very positive manner on the job or during an interview, the kinds of comments you post or tweet can be very telling about who you are outside of the pharmacy environment. Complaints about co-workers or your boss, posting or tweeting information that should be kept private, and discriminatory comments are red flags that may take you off the short list for a second interview or in-house consideration.

Check out what your friends, family, and co-workers are posting

Current and potential employers may appreciate that you have tons of friends on Facebook, but the friends you choose to mingle with on social media can affect an employer’s perception of you. Go through their posts and downsize your friends list based on their commentary and photos.

Beware of social media policy changes and privacy settings

While LinkedIn is a platform where you want to be found by potential employers, Facebook is a site where you will want to modify your privacy settings to give non-friends access to only

specific areas of your profile. Rules and security features change frequently, so it’s important to know just how private your information is.

For example, you adjust your Facebook privacy settings so can review all photos you’re tagged in before they show up on your profile and have better management of the narrative your profile is communicating to its viewers.

Finally, don’t ever share your social media passwords with anyone, especially an employer. Sharing or soliciting a password is a Facebook violation.