In a world with finstagrams, memes, and private stories, it’s difficult to learn what to let go once you finally hit this point. You’re about to graduate, two and a half years behind you and a Snapchat memories folder full of blacked-out videos of yourself, with an employer to impress.
Learning how to deal with making profiles employer-friendly is always a difficult task.
Let’s be real: your potential employers are definitely googling you. Whether it be to learn what you look like before your interview in order to make things less awkward or to get a feel of your personality and how you present yourself.
Unfortunately for us, putting our social media on super-private-lock-down-mode is no longer a solution with new technologies making it possible for companies to get passed these boundaries.
At a time like now, it’s important to take on any tips and tricks that we can in order to make our social media presence as employer-friendly as possible.
As sly as you may think that you are, hiring managers aren’t dumb. All of the privatization of social media accounts in the world can’t stop the new technologies that allow employers to break those barriers.
Even if they can’t get past your private account, there is always the slim chance that they’ll question what you have to hide.
Believe it or not, it’s best for both you and them if you opt for making sure everything is appropriate versus super private.
Seeing as social media is primarily a place for friends and family, it’s difficult to find the line between the casual connection you typically undergo with your friends and the professionalism employers look for.
Thus, it’s best to look at the field you’re entering. Some fields, such as STEM, are primarily looking for people who don’t do illegal things online or are super partial, others are asking for an extremely aesthetic social media account, decked out to the nines.
On the other hand, other careers want extreme connectivity- such as teachers. A bunch of teachers are now using an online presence to connect with their students and a new and more intimate matter. As a result, a teacher based platform building a teacher you is probably best.
The same goes for journalists and anyone else in the public sector. For anyone in public relations, our social media presences are kind of our lifelines. For individuals looking to remain in the public eye, make sure everything you post represents the best you possible. Building a personal brand is extremely important, and captions and content should always be highly questioned.
It’s best to avoid drunk Tweets, finstagrams, and anything that could possibly show irresponsibility.
An extra tip for journalists: read over what the Associated Press has to say about social media journalism, and make sure that your accounts hit the same industry standards.
No one has to tell you that you should be posting pictures of you doing kegstands and shotgunning. But, it’s the little things that you have to keep in mind.
Complaining, procrastinating, or not trying hard on an assignment are all traits that could potentially turn off an employer.
Being lazy or negative is always difficult to work around, and overdramatized tweets can add to an employer’s uncertainty. Texting people close to you with these venting sessions is always best- even if your feeds are private.
Retweets and story content must also be taken into consideration. Even if you’re not crafting the post yourself, they are still apart of your profile and how you represent yourself. The same goes for your likes. Make sure all content that you engage with is what you want to represent you before right-clicking.
Putting a disclaimer on your account may be best. A simple “Retweets ≠ Endorsements” could be the difference between looking biased and neutral.
On the other hand, there is Facebook, which is a beast of a different color. Facebook is traditionally seen as a platform primarily built for very personally connecting with people we know in real life.
As a result, making your personal account with Picnik pictures from sixth grade and all of your high school achievements, private.
A personal Facebook account isn’t meant for personal branding.
It’s also best that up-and-coming professionals opt for approval before allowing tagged posts and pictures on your page.
Nevertheless, if Facebook is your strongest platform and you want to build your personal branding on there, feel free to make a public page for people to like and follow.
Words: Jillian Keith
Images: Sara Kurfe on Unsplash, Jakob Owens on Unsplash, Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash, Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash, Becca Tapert on Unsplash, Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash