Are you a college student? Perhaps you’re a young professional looking for a job? If either of these describe you: sit down, buckle up, and take some notes because I’m about to share some valuable information.
Anna, why am I here? Why did you ask me to buckle up and take notes?
Good question, friend! Today, we’re talking about keeping a professional social media presence. That’s right, I’m going to get into all the gritty details: what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, and how to remedy certain things you’re not too proud of. First, we’ll do some general housekeeping, but I’m going to go into each major social media channel in depth. So, please, put on your seat belt, folks. It’s gonna be a wild ride!
First thing’s first
Take your Instagram and Twitter OFF private
I hate to break it to you, but many HR people take private profiles as a sort of red flag. They figure that if you don’t want the general public to see your profile, you’re hiding something. And isn’t that sort of the truth with private social media channels? If there is a certain someone you don’t want to see your content, there will always be a way to block them.
Keep swearing to a minimum
Look, we all use a little colorful language in our daily conversations. That’s totally fine, I encourage creative expression! However, keep it to a minimum on your social media channels. If you’re dropping the f-bomb on every other post and you’re looking for a job, you might want to change your ways.
As long as you’re not swearing, refrain from an abundance of complaining
Employers generally don’t like Negative Nancy’s, it’s true. Next time you feel tempted to go on a Twitter rant a la Kanye, maybe just vent to a patient friend or family member. You still get the catharsis without telling it to the whole world. Win-win!
Don’t post pictures or statuses of illegal activities
Since illegal activities are, in fact, illegal, it would be wise to not let everyone know you’re partaking in them. This includes underage drinking and mention of recreational marijuana in a state it hasn’t yet been legalized in. We all know what’s in that red solo cup, kids, and it’s not lemonade.
Get rid of that “f’insta” crap
If you haven’t heard of the newest Instagram trend, a f’insta is a “fake instagram” made by underage/party lovin’ people who can’t post their photos on their personal account. Look, whether you like it or not, Instagram’s algorithm is smarter than you. I guarantee that sooner or later your f’insta will show up in the suggested accounts tab for people who follow your main account. Yes, even your mother will find it eventually. If your mom can find it, so can a potential employer.
Get rid of all those old mirror selfies from middle school
There is no evidence I existed before the year 2013 on Facebook, and that’s the way things are going to stay. Frankly, those photos are embarrassing and I don’t want my future employers to see my colored jeans and Aeropostale tees. I still have the photos for the memories, but I’m the only person that can see them.
Ask your friends not to tag you in immature/unflattering photos
This kind of goes along with removing photos/the illegal activity point, but how many of you have gone to Facebook only to realize you’ve been tagged in an awful photo? You immediately remove the tag and hope that no one important on your friend’s list saw it. Can anyone say #yikes? Buzzfeed explains it well with this fun lil’ video!
Refrain from oversharing
Even though social media is meant to connect with others, it’s not necessarily meant to share every single aspect of your life. I try to keep my posts to a minimum, usually only 1-2 per day. That way I’m not spamming literally everyone with what’s going on in every facet of my life. Also, be careful of what you share. I’m a very political person, but I try not to over-express my opinion on Facebook because it’s unprofessional. Ya feel?
Refrain from oversharing
You can have some fun with Twitter
I feel like I’ve been preaching at you for the last few minutes, but you can still have fun with social media! I use Twitter as my social media account where I can be a bit more myself. Think: the occasional relatable meme, a life pondering, professing my love for Harry Styles, etc.
Don’t post videos you wouldn’t let your mom watch
That’s right, folks! If you wouldn’t want a dear relative to see your videos, maybe you shouldn’t upload them? I post vlog-type videos every week, but they’re nothing that I would ever be ashamed of! My future employers might say, “Wow, she makes some odd faces sometimes,” but never, “Wow, this girl is a train wreck.” #SmallVictories
There you have it! A total of 11 tips to help you get a more professional social media presence! Now go forth and curate those profiles!
What techniques do you use to make your social media pages more professional? Let me know in the comments!
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