As we discussed in our post two week ago, social media used for classroom purposes can be incredibly convenient. Using Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube can be extremely helpful to get in touch with professors and classmates, especially since we’re on them 24/7!
And, as college students, most of us are aware of the importance of our social media profiles. Whether we are trying to build our own brand, acquire an internship or career, or even impress the guy or girl sitting behind you in class, we need to be aware of what our social media profiles say about us.
The members of our group (and we’re sure most of our readers) have been told the importance of the appropriateness of our social media profiles by countless professors. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ can all be used as great tools to improve our online image, but most often, end up hurting our academic and professional credibility.
So what can we do to clean up our profiles?
Staffing Resource, a group to help focused on preparing young professionals to enter the job market, has some fantastic tips to help our fellow college students improve their presence on social networking sites –
- Pictures – It’s time to delete (or hide) all of those embarrassing pictures. Absolutely no party pics people… they weren’t cool
then, and they definitely aren’t cool now. Employers are looking for responsible adults, not party girls/boys. These sloppy pictures could cost you an interview, or worse – your job! In addition, incriminating photos can seriously (and negatively) affect your academic life – Times recently reported that inappropriate and racist photographs posted after a Duke University fraternity party resulted in suspensions.
- Content – What does your bio say about you? Do you have some idiotic Jersey Shore quotes? Get rid of them! Fill your bio with things you are proud of- accomplishments, awards, education, hobbies, anything that makes you stand out in a good way! We can all love Snooki and Jwoww, but let’s keep it off of our LinkedIn profiles.
- Friends – Prospective employers may look at your connections. If some of those friends happen to seem displeasing to an employer, you might too. Simply unfollow/unfriend them.
- Update – With so many different social media sites, it can get a little overwhelming to keep up with them all. But, it is important to update your profiles frequently. Sent a witty tweet, or share a link on Facebook to make your page more appealing and less outdated.
- Username – If you have a username with the number 69 in it, it’s time to let it go. Email addresses are especially prone to these obsolete parodies. Stick to your first name and last name, or some similar concoction, and you’ll be fine. E-mail addresses provided by schools are nearly always both appropriate and professional.
- (Frequently) Google yourself – If there’s something you don’t like, delete it from your own page, or if you don’t have access, contact the website and ask them to take it down for you. It’s as simple as that.
Now that we’ve told you what NOT to do, what you SHOULD do is simple –
- Be your (professional) self
- Be unique
- Appear credible
As college juniors and seniors, we have so much to lose from an incriminating tweet/post/picture/etc. These rules apply to inside and outside of the classroom. Not only can prospective employers look you up, but so can professors, fellow students, even the dean of your college. So, as fellow education bloggers, we need to recognize the importance of employment after graduation and the importance of social media for the entirety of its existence.
Social media is a beautiful thing, if used correctly.