Basement party pictures. Questionable statuses from that time your roommate hacked your account. If this sounds anything like your current presence on social media, then you should probably consider cleaning it up a little—you know, so you can impress potential employers.
The post-grad world can be tricky to navigate. What’s appropriate in this strange new domain of corporate suits and adults who, no, “don’t want to get drinks with you at one in the afternoon on a Wednesday,” is a gray area. But, a good place to start are your social media accounts.
A professional presence
First of all, after graduation your social media presence needs to extend beyond the realms of Facebook and Instagram. Some of you may already have a LinkedIn profile or a blog created, and that’s great! But are you using these tools to the fullest?
Make sure you make the most of your ability to connect with potential employers on LinkedIn by sharing relevant articles and other content related to your industry. Feel free to provide your own commentary, too, which shows you actually read the article. As far as a blog goes, this doesn’t have to be something you post to every day. But, depending on your industry, can be a really useful way to showcase who you are that delves a little deeper than a resume.
Cleaning up your photos
We’ve all looked back at photos we posted years prior and thought, “what on Earth was I doing?”, but if you notice any images on your page that could be particularly troubling for employers (e.g. smoking, drinking in excess, violence), you’ll definitely want to remove it. On Facebook, you can opt to delete the photos, or move them to an album that you’ve marked private.
If any unflattering images appear in a Google search of your name, there is little that can be done to remove them. However, you can try and detract from the negative by filling your profiles with more positive images and messages.
The best version of you
Social media gives you the power to connect with millions of people you’ve never met, and, nowadays, is really someone’s first impression of you. If you want this first impression to be a positive one, take control of the situation and connect with people first. If there is someone you admire in your industry, make sure they know who you are and why they should care about you.
Be sure to include anything relevant about you on your pages, like employment history, awards and accolades, or anything else that can help you stand out.
Social media is a virtual minefield for many. It’s hard to draw the line between what you want your friends to see and what you want the professional world to see. But, once you find a happy balance between the two, managing your profiles will be much easier.