| By Ally Mueller |
In today’s internet age, most of you likely have more than one social media account. I personally love social media, and use Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and LinkedIn on a regular basis. While you may assume that LinkedIn is the only social media outlet that relates to professionalism, this is far from the case. Every single post, picture, or tweet that is connected to you is fair game for employers and potential employers to investigate. This is becoming more and more important to realize, as many professionals and organizations are beginning to use social media to promote their businesses. Social media is no longer just for personal use. Here are a few of my personal tips to ensure that your social media account(s) function as a positive reflection of you to future employers:
- Make sure that everything you directly post is something you’d becomfortable with having your grandmother, or an older adult, see.
Although I may have my Facebook account on private settings, this does not mean that my account is completely hidden. On Snapchat, I may only allow my friends to view my posted stories, but my friends are still able to screenshot my snapchats and could send those to anyone they desired. Thus, you have to be thinking ahead before you post a picture or video; you never know who might see them in the future!
- Don’t be afraid to untag yourself from something you don’t support.
If a friend tags you in a photo or post that doesn’t present you in a positive way, feel free to untag yourself! It’s important to ensure that you are comfortable with your social media presence and present yourself appropriately. I periodically go through the photos I’ve been tagged in and will untag myself in photos I dislike and/or those that I think detract from my positive social media presence.
- Be politically and grammatically correct; do not be argumentative or overly opinionated.
I know how easy it can be to get wrapped up in a political debate on social media and post controversial/opinionated articles, but be extremely careful when doing so. You can easily alienate friends, employers, and future employers. Also, don’t use slang on social media—it’s important to present yourself as an educated individual. Be grammatically correct whenever possible!
- Don’t complain about work or any previous/current employers.
This is obviously a big no-no! It seems obvious to not gossip about your employer, but it can have horrible consequences when ignroed. People can and do get fired based an inappropriate, offensive, or highly negative post or picture. Don’t post it if you aren’t comfortable talking to your coworkers or peers about it!
While social media may seem to be in a “personal” arena, it’s important to realize that nothing we post online is truly private. Thus, be sure that anything you post on social media is appropriate, reflective of your best self, politically correct, and positive. By using your common sense and thinking before acting, you will be sure to have social media accounts that are tasteful, personal, and professional.