What do you use social media for? Go ahead, think about it for a minute.Do you post pictures and personal statuses, or do you use social media to share other peoples’ and companies’ content?
The next question to consider is: do you post things on social media that you would be okay with potential employers seeing?
While it is very easy to imagine the only people that ever look at your posts are your friends and family, it is important to remember that now days nearly everyone has access to your social media accounts. It is not an uncommon practice for employers that are interested in hiring you to check out what you are talking about or who you are talking to on your social media accounts. Therefore, while what you wish to post on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. is still completely up to you, here’s a list of things to keep in mind when you go to let everyone on the internet know your business.
1) Party Pics: Yes, we all know that sharing your raving good time with all your friends is fun. However, some employers could take an excessive amount of posts about partying or drinking on Friday night, or actual pictures of you partying, as a sign that you are potentially irresponsible. In addition, sometimes you are not fully aware of what you are posting; those pictures or unintelligible posts come off as potential liabilities. You may be thinking that by the time potential employers are looking at your social media you will have put the college partying days behind you. However, potential employers see posts from/about partying on the weekends and no matter when they are from they are likely wondering how reliable you will be come Monday morning of the work week.
2) Complaining: Everyone likes to complain. We understand. However, complaining on public media, especially about work, bosses, school, professors etc., is not the best decision. While a quick post about school or work isn’t all that bad, complaining about them, or worse complaining about particular people, is a big no-no. If potential
employers see you slandering or complaining about your professor or boss on social media, there are a slew of thoughts that could come to mind: this person is a complainer, do I really want to hire a complainer? This person may not be trust worthy, is it really the professor/boss that is awful or is it this person? The list goes on. You may be thinking, but my professor/boss really is that annoying/mean/lazy, or what have you. It doesn’t matter. You are better safe than sorry. Don’t complain about school or work, especially your boss or professor, on social media.
3) Proper Grammar: You’re probably thinking: “But, this is social media! Everyone abbreviates and no one is a stickler about the grammar and employers know that!” I understand how you feel. But, the truth is that employers are most definitely looking at your grammar and language in your social media posts. Improper grammar or misuse of language makes the user of the social media sites look ignorant, sloppy, and lazy, three things potential employers are not looking for in new hires. The take away from this suggestion: take a few extra minutes to write and check your post to make sure you come across as the intelligent and diligent, full of potential person you are!!
There you have it, a few quick tidbits on how to make your social media accounts more appealing to potential employers. You are putting a lot of time, energy, and money into going to college, so don’t let a few bad posts or decisions shared on Facebook ruin your opportunities to get the job of your dreams!
Here in Shepherd University’s Communication and New Media department, we are learning what social media’s role in the modern world is. We will let you in on a secret: the role is big and growing. Not only are employers using it to screen potential employees, but those that are employees often have to use the social media sites of the company they end up working for. Therefore, showing those potential employers you are responsible with your own social media accounts will prove that you can be reliable and responsible with other things, like the work you do for their company. So take care what you put out there on social media for the world to see, because you never know when an employer may be considering you for your dream job.
Take away thought: First impressions can mean a lot, and if an employer’s first impression of you is your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, what kind of impression would you make? One you would be proud of? If not, consider deleting a few posts you have and/or being more careful on social media in the future.
By: Chloe Powers