Social media has become very important in our lives. Photos and status updates are quickly posted after a fun night out and it’s all just fun and games. However, social media has become a significant part of the professional world as well. Employers are increasingly checking the profiles of potential employees and interns and it could make a difference in whether they are hired or not.
It’s important in this day and age to have social media profiles, but it is also important to keep your profiles clean.
Before tidying up your profile, Google yourself to see what others see. Photos from years ago and old profiles may show up. Once you have an idea of how you are represented online, you can clean up what you don’t want others to see. You will also be more prepared if anything surfaces in the future. Although you may have enabled privacy settings, employers can get around them or they may wonder why you use such heavy privacy settings, so cleaning your profile is ideal.
The easiest way to keep your profiles clean is to monitor what you post. Be sure to not post profanities or offensive statuses. People may get the wrong impression if statuses are overly emotional, opinionated, or include vulgarities; try to keep them clean while still showing your personality. Posting things that you are interested in is much more engaging and gives others a better idea of who you are. Moreover, avoid posting too much information. It’s not safe to broadcast private details on the Internet and definitely not appealing to potential employers.
Another tip is to delete all incriminating or offensive photos. Even if you are completely qualified, photographs of your night out or Spring Break could make you less likely to get the job. Although it may be fun at the time, you will probably look back on it embarrassed. Un-tag yourself from, or delete any pictures that you are ashamed of whenever you come across them and especially when you are looking for a job or internship. A good guideline is to not post anything that you wouldn’t want your parents to see. You can also change your settings to be able to approve every photo tag.
Social media can be a great tool for connecting with potential employers. It’s a great platform for networking and marketing yourself. Follow and like the companies you are interested in or aspire to work for some day. If you interact with these companies on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, it’s more likely you will be noticed. By creating your own personal brand online and engaging others, you can show that you are focused and passionate. By keeping your profiles clean and professional, employers will be more impressed. Your professional profile will attract other professionals and will help your network grow.
Priya Sudendra is a junior at the University of Colorado and a staff writer for CollegeFocus, a website dedicated to helping students deal with the challenges of college, including housing, finance, style, health, relationships, and transferring from a community college to a four-year university.