How many of you would be comfortable giving your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account password to a potential employer? If your answer to this question was no, then you really need to start considering what “professionalism” looks like on social media. As an emerging business professional, the last thing you want is an employer to give you an acceptance instead of an offer, just because of a political post or an inappropriate picture. It’s a really good idea to think about what you’re posting before you post it. Who could potentially see this? Could someone interpret your post differently than you intended? These are all things that you should consider before putting anything on social media. In order to help keep your profile professional, here’s a few tips to follow:
- Be aware of your privacy settings! You should always set your settings to whatever you deem necessary. If you keep your posts and information professional, then it’s okay to have a public profile. Another way to look at it is if you wouldn’t be comfortable with a recruiter looking at your page, then public is okay. However, if you’re more conservative or just want a little more protection on your page, then set your profile to private. A good general rule is to also only be friends with people on Facebook that you actually know. However, regardless of your profile setting, be sure to keep in mind that people can still tag you in posts or comments. There’s settings for these items, too, so be sure to not forget these when determining what settings your profile should have.
- Be mindful of your content. For many of us, social media is a way to express ourselves and our opinions. However, don’t forget about who can see these comments. The last thing you want to do is post a rank about a co-worker who you’re actually friends with on social media. It’s a good idea to refrain from talking about a conflict or negative opinions about work. Additionally, it’s a good practice to also not discuss any political or religious views, as different people have many diverse opinions.
- Be sure you want people to see a picture before you post it! Make sure you pay special attention to your profile/main picture. Go back to the general rule: would you be okay with a recruiter seeing this photo? Or your potential co-workers? These things should be kept in mind for any picture you post, but a profile picture is usually visible even if your settings are private.
- Use LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great tool to start developing now. Not only does the site have job listings and great articles, but it’s also a place for us all to connect professionally. Make sure you use proper grammar, list your activities, and follow different groups or companies! Get used to using LinkedIn now, when there is PSU resources to help if you need it!
Social media is incredible popular in today’s world. As long as you monitor what you’re posting, keep your posts clean, and being respectful to others, you can say that your profile is professional!