Social media touches our lives daily. Every day and without much thought, we like, post, and comment on photos on Instagram and Facebook, share what’s happening in our lives on Snapchat, connect professionally on LinkedIn, and get the latest news. Many employers research job hunters via the Internet to learn more about potential employees before interviewing them.
It is important to make sure that you are presenting your best image through all of your social media platforms. As a young professional, you should get in the mindset of marketing yourself as a brand using social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. To ensure you are maximizing your online presence and presenting a positive image, we have developed a quick checklist to keep you on track. The plan consists of three steps: Be aware, Be proactive, and Be true to your brand. Always remember, whatever personal brand your present is how people view you and what they remember about you. Social media can be fun and should be, but it is vital to be cognizant of what you post and remember once you post something positive or negative, it is out there forever on the Internet.
- Be Aware
It is important to be aware of what pictures and comments you post because you never know who may share them with future employers. For example, a post that was meant only for your friends could be shared or retweeted to family members or could somehow end up with a future employer or colleague. This is why it is important to be conscious of anything you post, because it could be seen by anyone.
*Rule of Thumb: If you don’t want your grandmother to see it, do not post it!
- Be Proactive
Taking charge and being proactive when it comes to your social media presence is very important. One way you can be proactive is by increasing your privacy settings. For example, you can make sure your privacy settings require followers to send you a request to approve photos you have been tagged in, providing you more control. You should also do a Google search on yourself occasionally so you can see what may be on the Internet that you were not aware of.
- Be True to Your Brand
Although it is important to enhance privacy settings on your social media to ensure you are not depicted negatively to employers, you want to make sure you are representing an accurate representation of yourself. Being true to your brand is ensuring that what you are projecting on social media remains consistent with how you are in person. It is important to not over-filter your pictures and comments to the point where your social media presence could be deemed as fake. As social media users, we must be cognizant of what we post, but we want to make sure that people who see our social media know that we are presenting ourselves genuinely.
We are fortunate to live in a time where we have access to so much information via social media. The key is managing it effectively.