Social Media: Tips on Keeping it Professional

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. 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:

  1. Be aware of your privacy settings. You should always change your settings to whatever you deem necessary. 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.
  2. 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Know the difference between a profile picture and a headshot. There’s a reason why LinkedIn requires a headshot and FaceBook asks for a profile picture. Although it might seem like some FaceBook photos might be suitable for your LinkedIn profile, any picture that’s not a headshot will most likely look unprofessional. There’s tons of chances viable throughout the semester to get your professional headshot taken – in the Atrium, at Career Days, and various times throughout the semester. Check out the Career and Corporate Connections website for details!
  5. Use LinkedIn as your professional social network. LinkedIn is a great tool to start developing now. Not only does the site have job listings and great articles, but it’s a place for us all to connect professionally. Make sure you use proper grammar, list your activities, and follow different groups or companies you’re interested in! 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 be respectful to others, you can say that your profile is professional. Review your social media usage regularly and always think twice before posting!

By Emilee Semple
Emilee Semple