We’re in college. We go to class, write our papers and try our best to plan for the future. But we are also college students, meaning we do like to have fun. For some of us, we like to post about our fun on social media.
I’m not against social media in the least, I have plenty of pictures on Instagram that capture aspects of my life and I like posting them.
But what about our social media profiles after graduation? At that point I think it’s time for some of the fun we had in college to be kept a bit more private.
After college, we are entering a different world. It’s no longer a world where your friends, class, job, gym and food can be found in about a 0.45 square mile radius, the size of California Lutheran University, according to U.S. News and World’s Report.
It’s job-hunting time, and that means it’s also time to clean up our social media accounts.
According to an article from Forbes, “How To Land A Job Interview: 10 Tips for Milllenials,” “It’s standard procedure for hiring managers to check out your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, so police them carefully. Most (70 percent) hiring managers believe millennials make the mistake of posting potentially compromising content, including inappropriate photos, profanity and too-personal information.”
If 70 percent of hirers believe our Internet content can cost us jobs, it’s pretty clear they need to be given a makeover.
In the article, Social Media Dos and Don’ts Every College Grad Should Know,” Amanda Augustine said, “take down any photos that show you doing something illegal or merely paint you in a bad light. Check the settings on sites such as Facebook to make sure you have control over photo tags.”
Graduation should bring a heightened awareness of how we need to present ourselves to the world. We have to move on and keep the memories as fun memories that stay in our mind or in a private journal.
Augustine said to keep profiles looking professional. This means deleting statuses dropping four-letter words and keeping all pictures G-rated.
It’s important that “privacy settings are set appropriately,” Cynthia Smith, assistant director of Career Services said.
“Google yourself to see what comes up when you search your name,” Smith said.
You might be surprised at what shows up.
“A thorough employer might check beyond the first page of Google, so make sure to look over the first few pages as well as the images and news sections to find any other potentially damaging information,” William Frierson said in the article “Why You Should Clean Up Your Social Media Profiles – and How to Do It.”
Frierson advises to keep your profiles clean. “Before posting anything in the future, be sure to ask yourself if it will cause you any future embarrassment if your boss (or mother) saw it,” Frierson said.
Not all social media is out to get you in your search of a job though. You don’t have to delete all your accounts and some can even help you, like LinkedIn,” Smith said.
“Just make sure your profile is complete, you are making connections and joining groups and discussions that are relevant to your career goals,” Smith said.
To help professionalize your profile and learn more, Smith said you can attend Career Services’ “Social Media and Your Career: How to Network and Find Jobs on LinkedIn and Twitter” workshop. Also have your professional LinkedIn photo taken at the Career & Intern Expo, March 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
I’m absolutely an advocate for living life to the fullest and enjoying your college years on any terms you prefer. Just be smart. Remember what you are in college to do.
Published March 2nd, 2016