Don’t Let Your Social Media Profile Jeopardise Your Professional Success

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Practical teaching from a student mentor in the general medical wards

Today, almost everyone has a social media profile that they update regularly with events that happened during the day. It’s almost second nature to tweet, post on Facebook and comment on friends’ profiles. But what happens if you are a third year medical student, a resident doctor or a physician and you spend all day every day dealing with patients? Is it okay to discuss your interactions with your patients on your profile?

Earlier, the lines were very clearly drawn. Your dealings with your patient were sacrosanct and you just did not discuss it with family and friends at all. However, today as social media becomes increasingly more popular and people feel more encouraged to post up even their most personal details, the lines are getting blurred. It has become all too easy to quickly post offhand comments and casual observations without thinking for a second about the possible consequences. While there may not be any backlash under normal circumstances, your off-the-cuff comments could seriously jeopardise your chances when you are job hunting.

It may seem unlikely at first but the truth is all interviewers and employers across all industries routinely check the social media profiles of potential employees to ensure that they are making the right hiring decision. 

There are a few rules that you should adhere to in order to maintain a clean social media profile and avoid any unexpected and unnecessary embarrassment. 

Rule #1 – Set Your Privacy Levels To Maximum

Setting the privacy levels to the highest possible will prevent potential employers from seeing your private posts and personal comments that are meant only for those in your ‘inner circle’.

Rule #2 – Create Separate Professional And Personal Accounts

It does help to separate business and pleasure even in the digital sphere. No matter how careful you may be, the smallest lapse could soon snowball into something bigger than you intended. If you do not post a controversial comment or observation, a friend may do so and you will unnecessarily get roped in.

Rule #3 – Before You Publish Any Post Or Update, Take Time To Reflect About It

Even with separate accounts, you still need to be very, very careful about what you post on your personal accounts. Look at the post from all angles and consider how any other person may read and interpret it. You may have posted it with a different thought in mind but nobody else knows what you are thinking. They only know what they read. Are you sure your post does not cross any ethical lines or any patient privacy laws? If you have the slightest doubt, it may be better to come up with an alternate post or do not post anything at all.

A Final Thought

While social media platforms offer you a fantastic way to stay in the loop and explore helpful resources, it pays to be careful with how you proceed to avoid the fallout of a carelessly written word.  

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