Social Media and the Young Professional: Dos and Don’ts
Nowadays, it’s hard to find anyone who isn’t on social media. This is especially true for the younger populations.
Sort of like a resume, your social media profiles offer a snapshot of who you are. Also like a resume, something negative on your social media accounts can land your job application into the “no” pile fasted than you can like a picture on Instagram. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking at candidates’ social media more than ever, so it’s always best to keep them as private as possible if you don’t want it to affect their impression of you.
Since social media is an inevitable part of the world, here are a few tips from Elizabeth Mack on how to avoid your social media accounts costing you an opportunity. In her article, she shares some examples of social media mishaps that have immediately disqualified a candidate.
Offensive posts and photos: Obviously, if you post offensive subject matter, you’re at a serious disadvantage. Hiring managers are not interested in hiring candidates who will clash with others in the office, and positing such matter suggests to them that you don’t really care who you offend. This is a statement on your professionalism. Long story short, you shouldn’t be posting offensive material anyways. But if you are, or you have, make your accounts private. FYI, offensive pictures, especially if you’re in them, are even worse.
Keep personal matters private: Try to keep your opinions to yourself on social media, whether they’re controversial or not. Over-sharing is also a red flag. An excess of either of these two things on your social media accounts will call into question your professionalism as well as your discretion.
What you do while you’re not at work: Everyone has time with friends, and plenty of us partake in fun activities while we’re not at work (I hope we all do!). However, these things don’t have to all over your social media, particularly if it isn’t something that shows you at your most professional. Try to keep the party pictures to a minimum.
What about things we should put on social media? We recommend highlighting things like community service, school activities, and other facets that will show you in a positive light. Personal pictures with friends and family are fine too, as long as they’re not like the ones described above. However, the safest option is to set your profiles to private. You won’t have to worry about the impression you’re giving, and it shows your maturity and professionalism by doing so!