Social media is a great tool. It allows us to connect with our friends from all over and share our lives with them on a daily basis. It allows us to post a digital autobiography that we can share with the entire world. However, despite all of its perks, social media can also be the sole reason why we don’t get that job offer we have been aggressively pursuing.
We all know that once we post something on the internet, it stays there forever. Forever.
So we need to think twice before we tweet that picture of us doing a keg-stand at our fraternity’s summer bash, or before we allow our “friend” to tag us in that picture on Facebook from last Friday when we were completely trashed.
Building a positive and professional online presence isn’t just a good idea – it’s becoming a necessity.
Employers will search our names on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms, performing their due diligence before even thinking about extending an offer.
Here are a few essential Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media:
Do create an updated LinkedIn profile. It’s an online resume, reference list and recommendation letter all wrapped into one.
Do build your social network. Whether you are employed, unemployed, still in college or graduated, always keep networking. Remember, it is all about who you know!
Do place a privacy setting on your social media accounts. You need to be in control of who has access to your pictures and information.
Do create a separate account if your workplace has their own social media group. In case you do accidentally get tagged in an inappropriate post, you won’t be the laughing stock of your entire company.
Do use a filter. Everyone has their own opinions and expressing yours is fine. Don’t post something you wouldn’t want your own mother to see.
Don’t post any self-incriminating pictures. Yes, that includes the ones of you playing flip-cup until 5am. If any do make their way onto social media, untag yourself ASAP so they won’t be linked back to your profile.
Don’t be fake. Your social media profiles are all about you. You are essentially creating a brand for yourself. If you try too hard to portray yourself a certain way, it will backfire.
Don’t reach out to all your higher-up LinkedIn connections begging for a job. It’s not a good look.
Don’t use profanities, poor grammar, slang or misspelled words. Spell check is important even for social media posts.
Most importantly – make sure that you are creating an image you will be proud of when you build an online presence!