Social media is a wonderful way to stay connected with friends and family while sharing your experiences. We can use this tool in a variety of ways to promote ourselves, our businesses, or a service/product that we offer. However, as we build networks of “friends” and “followers” online, we have to remember to be mindful of who sees this content. Almost daily, I cringe at things I see posted by other people my age. Here are a few things to think about before you post your next status update.
How do you want to be viewed? Think about who and what you’re posting about. If your posts are catty or angry, rethink pushing the post button. Social media is great for staying connected and sharing your thoughts but if you’re mad at your significant other, tell them. Don’t tell the world. If you win an award, or get an awesome new job, we want to hear about it. If your best friend got drunk and spent the night over the toilet, don’t share it. Share that winning picture of your judging team or champion steer. Don’t share the after party. If your followers don’t know you personally, your posts are how they get to know you. Do you want to be seen as that successful, high achiever moving up in the professional world? Or do you want to be that hot mess Instagram account full of poor decisions?
Promote yourself. The success of social media is based off our desire to showcase our lives. Sure, we like to see what others are up to, but we love showing people what we’re up to. Look at your social media accounts and ask yourself what a stranger would think of you if they viewed your profile. There’s nothing wrong with thoroughly enjoying your college experience, just leave a little mystery for your potential employers. Share and post content that shows who you are and what you believe in, but keep it professional.
Nobody wants to hire you, grumpy Gus. I wore the perfect outfit, I answered every question flawlessly. My interview was something to be envious of. Why didn’t I get the job?! Guess what your negative posts on social media accounts are? They’re the real you, not the show you put on in your interview.Everyone has that person on their timeline that’s constantly complaining about something. If you don’t know who that person is, make sure its not you. If you need to vent, that’s why you have friends, siblings, parents and pets. Tell your dog how much you hate waking up and going to your job, don’t tweet about it. Employers want to hire people that are pleasant to be around. No one looks at a timeline full of bitterness and says wow, that’s the person we’re looking for, the office really has been too happy lately.
Keep it private. If you really can’t control yourself, and you feel compelled to share inappropriate posts, make your accounts private. Just know that it won’t stay private forever. Your potential employers can and will see whatever they want to eventually. Don’t accept follow requests from people you don’t know if you don’t want to clean up your act on social media. Just because you don’t let a company’s account follow you on instagram, it doesn’t mean that the random guy you just accepted a request from isn’t in charge of hiring at that same company. Remember the only way to actually keep something private is to never post it on the internet.
Google yourself. See if you’re happy with what someone searching for you will see. If you’re still not sure if what you post is appropriate, look at your accounts with your grandma. If you just cringed at the thought of grandma looking at your social media profiles, this blog goes out to you. You’re amazing and you’ve got an unlimited amount of talent to share. You’ve worked extremely hard on an impressive resume. Don’t let your social media accounts be the reason you don’t land that post-grad dream job.
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