We have all been lectured once in our lives about what to post on our Facebook pages, to be sure that our Instagram accounts are private, and to be careful of who we add on snapchat. Throughout a students time of professional development, social media becomes a huge factor that can make or break their first or second impression to an employer.
Someone once told me two very important things about social media profiles that I always keep in mind:
1) “Your Facebook page should mirror your LinkedIn profile.”
2) “If I don’t find you on social media, I will be suspicious.”
At first, I thought that these bits of advice were almost contradictory of one another, but as I began to become more involved professionally at school, I got the hang of making my online presence the same through every outlet.
When it comes to “cleaning up” your social media accounts, I suggest editing your settings in order to have complete control over what shows on your page. For example, activate the setting called “timeline review”. This allows you to approve of what you are tagged in and what you want to show on your page. I also suggest following the tips below:
1) “Untag” yourself from any photos, status’s and links that involve the use of alcohol, drugs, or illegal activity (and by illegal, I suggest paying close attention to the background in photos that are taken out at bars, parties, and social gatherings)
2) When making posts, be sure to consider the professional brand you have already created for yourself. Use appropriate words, punctuation, and topics that reflect what your values and goals are.
3) Don’t steal photos! If you are using a cover photo or profile picture that was taken off of Google, Pinterest, or any other similar site, be sure to give credit to the source. ‘
4) Be conscious of your “likes”. We all went through that phase of “liking” everything in middle school, so be sure to go through those and “unlike” anything inappropriate.
5) Think twice before “friending” someone. Employers can easily find out if you are adding other employers that compete with them. They can also discover if you are being way too comfortable and adding their employees before being hired.
Overall, the best way to go about social media and how you are represented online is the following: if you second guess it, don’t post it.
– Jacqueline Kooser