Savvy jobseekers already know about the benefits of using social media outlets, such as blogs, to connect with other people in their field. For example, students completing online studies or classroom-based degree programs often start job search blogs to help them find their first jobs after graduation. After accepting a position, newly employed graduates sometimes continue these blogs in order to maintain contact with other professionals in their field. However, even proficient social media networkers sometimes make a colossal mistake when it comes to former employers. Though many workers are tempted to remove connections with former employers on blogs or other social media websites, burning these bridges is never a good idea.
Why Not Burn the Bridge?
- When an individual applies for a new job, a potential employer may contact the applicant’s former employers for a reference. If the relationship ended badly, the former employer will not give a good recommendation.
- Even if a potential employer does not deliberately contact an applicant’s former employer, the new employer may already have a relationship with the former employer, especially if both professionals work in the same field.
- In some cases, employees may work with their former employers again in the future. If the bridge was burned, the new relationship will immediately be strained and may become unproductive.
- When potential employers find out that an applicant has treated former employers disrespectfully, the applicant appears to be rude and unprofessional.
How to Avoid Burning Bridges
- Employees should not speak negatively about former employers on their blogs or on any other social media forum. Even if the former employer does not regularly read the individual’s blog, the employer may stumble across the negative comments or hear about them from someone else who read the post.
- Employees who are leaving a position should make an effort to maintain a connection with their former employers. One way to maintain these connections without much effort is through the use of blogs and social media websites.
- When transitioning out of an old job, employees should not make derogatory or rude comments to their former employers.
- Employees should never use a blog or social media website to announce a resignation before informing the company. Instead, an employee should submit a polite letter to the employer or speak with him in person.
- Employees should incorporate positive comments about former employers into their resignation letters, as well as any blog posts that discuss the transition. Thanking former employers for the opportunities they provided helps to ensure that connection between the former employer and employee remains intact even after the job ends.
Few people will remain in the same job throughout their careers, and the current job market is more competitive than ever before. To achieve success in this market, individuals need to develop and maintain as many professional connections as possible. By using social media to continue a positive relationship with former employers, individuals can avoid burning bridges that may be useful to them in the future.
About the author: Melissa Crossman is a professional writer who lives in Indiana with her husband and two children. She writes on behalf of www.coloradotech.edu, specializing in education and career guidance topics.