It May Be Tempting Not to, But Keep Your Social Media Clean

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Career Advice

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover? Well, hiring managers and recruiters will 100% judge you by your social media pages, which is why you need to keep them clean.

It’s tempting, especially if you are still in college, to Instagram that picture of you doing a kegstand or dancing on that bar. But… don’t. Post a smiling picture of you and your group of friends instead. You may be unhappy about it at first, but when you land that job in a year or so, you won’t regret your decision.

Let’s be real. Everyone has a social presence nowadays. And job recruiters know that. They will look at your online presence. Think about it from the perspective of if you were a recruiter — if you looked at your social media pages, would you hire you? If the answer is no, it’s time to clean up those social pages.

Don’t curse.
Honestly, is there really a reason for you to be dropping the F-bomb casually? I’m sure you can make your point, and vocalize your anger and disappointment, assuming it’s appropriate, in many other ways or with many other words. If you’re cursing in an online public forum, where everyone can see you, how would the company you’re applying for know you won’t casually drop inappropriate language when speaking with clients? Plus, these future clients can always Google you… leading them right to seeing your use of curse words.

Don’t post inappropriate photos. 
As alluded to above, especially while you’re in college, it’s extremely tempting to show off that great party you were at. But you can show it off — in a much cleaner way that doesn’t show that you’re partaking in underage drinking! Post a great picture of you and your bestie, or of you and your significant other. Do not post that picture of you chugging a beer, especially if you are not yet of age. What company wants a partier as an employee?

Engage with thought leaders in your field.
What type of field are you looking to go into? Find thought leaders of that field on social media and follow them. And of course, find the company you’re looking to work for on social media (remember: some companies let you have a glimpse at your potential workplace via Snapchat), and follow them as well. Look for hiring managers and directors on social media. Follow them and engage with them. If they shared a great article about the company, share it or respond to them. Show them how interested you are in the work they’re doing.

Show that you know what you’re talking about. 
The beauty of social media? You are the one who decides what it is that you’re sharing. Use this to your advantage by branding yourself as an expert in the field. Show the thought leaders in your field and the employees of the company you want to work for that you know what you’re talking about. Share things about what’s happening in your field. Show off your knowledge. Let it be evident that you’re staying on top of the happenings in the field.

Don’t engage in online fights or rants.
Millennials, we are all adults or young adults by this point. There is absolutely no reason to get into a fight in a public forum. If someone picks a fight with you, ignore it, or address it privately. Additionally, do not rant online about your last job, or getting a rejection from a job. This is a huge turn off for a future employer. How would they know you’re not just going to do the same thing about their company?

If you’re in the midst of the job hunt, keep your social media clean. It’s critical. Maybe take a look at your privacy settings and think as to whether or not your social media channels need to be public. Once you get the job you want, you can revamp and change things — obviously, always being smart and responsible about it, and knowing what your company will be okay with, and not okay with.

Don’t let social media be the reason why you don’t get that job. Let it be part of the reason that you do.

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