By Jen Baers, Studio 10 Online
Social Media made its mark on the world around 2002 with the advent of FRIENDSTER, LINKEDIN, MYSPACE, AND FACEBOOK. Since then connecting with people online has become a regular way of life. There are many positive things to be said for connecting online, but sometimes people fail to realize their posts are not happening in their own private bubble and are, in fact, there for the entire world to see.
Now imagine you are up for a new job, that employer goes over to your Facebook page to do some research on what their potential employee’s life is like and the way they conduct themselves online. How do they interact with other people, what kind of online language do they use, what types of activities do they participate in, do they get along well with others, what’s their attitude like? These are the types of things that can be observed about you if someone was to check out your Facebook page or your Instagram account. This insight I am sharing is in no way trying to convince you to be somebody you are not. Social media lets your true personality shine and that’s a good thing.
Let’s take a closer look at Social Media and how it can be a used as a tool to support your career, and what to be mindful of to prevent it from hurting you.
10 Do’s and Don’t’s of Social Media for Students That Can Help or Hinder Your Career.
1. It’s good to share your passions; passions are a key part of who you are. Be aware of posting activities that may be a little too personal. Think about social media as being PG13 space.
2. This never makes you look good. Imagine saying some of the things you post directly to someone who could hire you.
3. Healthy debating is positive when sharing ideas on a topic. Be careful about attacking someone’s character. That makes you look like you don’t really have a well thought out opinion and can’t get into a healthy debate without losing your cool. On the other hand, debating and sharing your ideas without attacking others shows you to be the type of person who is open to ideas and respectful of others’ opinions.
4. Constantly attacking others, businesses, people or your school. This shows a bad attitude and a person that has a chip on their shoulder and an inability to take responsibility for their own life. In life, everything you see is a reflection of you.
5. Encouraging others on their posts. This shows you as a team player and a person that wants to build others up. There is such a thing as Facebook Currency. This comes in the way of Likes, Shares, and Comments.
6. You don’t have to constantly share your input, but making comments here and there is a good way to show how you participate in life. Liking, sharing and commenting on posts not only helps others, you will get the same in return.
7. What do your photos say about you? Do you do volunteer work? Do you love animals? What are your relationships like? Everything you post online—including reviews—shows the type of person that you are, your attitude about life, and your character. Think of photos as telling the story of your life in a visual way.
8. There is no bigger turn-off to an employer than bad spelling and grammar, even on social media. Language is a tool to communicate. Even if it takes a few extra minutes to proofread, it’s worth it.
9. Don’t use social media as a griping device about your school, job, boss, friends or family. This can easily get back to any one of them, and a moment of dissatisfaction can turn into a bad lasting impression.
10. What kind of reviews do you leave? Do you express gratitude or attitude? Do you act out your anger by leaving negative reviews for businesses or your school for that matter? Leaving your experience in a review is a good way to show your appreciation for your teachers and your alma mater. You can share the ways in which you value your education and all that you learned as well as the ways you grew as a person. Are you the type of person that goes on a rant online, or do you communicate directly with those you have an issue with in order to resolve issues? These things can be red flags or green lights for a potential employer. Leaving a one star review in anger can end up making you look bad. If you are upset with a business or service, try to work things out directly with them first.
I want to reiterate that it’s important to be the authentic YOU online, but the point I really want to get across is what kind of authenticate you is being communicated online. Look back at your history and look at the way you responded to issues, and the type of things you posted online. This will give you some good insight into the way you react to life.
I’m going to leave you with a take-away from this blog. Get started right now on Linkedin and create your profile. Linkedin will allow you to connect with potential employers and start your career network. Ridley-Lowell will continue to be a resource and connect you to potential jobs as you move through your career. Make sure to join our Alumni group and stay in touch. Now go out there, and conquer!
Jen currently manages the social media for Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute. For the past 20 years Jen has spent perfecting her design and marketing skills in order to develop business brands through print and web. She has worked with companies such as ABC, Disney, The Dodgers, Chevron just to name a few. She created Studio 10 Online to assist businesses in dominating their local markets.