How you choose to portray yourself on social media holds importance — it’s the world’s first impression of you. Though it is considered your personal platform, you must be conscious of what you choose to reveal to the public. Why? Studies show it can cost you a job. According to Monster.com, 35% of employers reported they found information on a potential candidate’s online profile that prevented them from making the hire. If you’re a college student, you might want to follow these tips in order to prevent your online presence affecting your real life.
Avoid Inappropriate Photographs
Studies show that the biggest red flag on a candidate’s social media profile is when they post inappropriate photographs. Employers want their workers to represent their company in a respectful manner. Putting distasteful photographs on the internet is definitely not professional. If you have inappropriate photographs on your social platforms, it is recommended to clean up your page.
Watch your Language
Though you can technically say what you want on your personal profile, it is recommended to avoid derogatory language. Staying away from curse words or other offensive phrases gives you a positive image, which will stand out to recruiters as someone who could represent their company well. It says a lot about how you carry yourself in real life. Aside from offensive language, stay away from texting language as it might come off as lazy or uneducated. Watch what you type—your future employer might be watching!
Don’t Post Alcohol or Drug Use
Though you might be 21, alcohol in your pictures could suggest you are irresponsible or undependable. If given the chance, recruiters will pick candidates who present themselves in a more professional manner. Remember this: Even if you are a social butterfly who loves to have a good time with your friends, avoid photographs that will portray you as a “no work, all play” type of person. It can cost you a job.
Drug use should be self-explanatory— illegal substances are never acceptable to post on your social profile.
Don’t Bad Mouth an Old Employer
If you bad mouth an old employer on your social media page, what stops you from bad mouthing your new one? Talking negatively about an old employer publicly is never ok and can show you don’t have restraint. Though you might have a bad taste in your mouth in regards to your old employer, fight the urge to bite your tongue. It’s worth it when you’re on the job hunt!
Inspecting social media platforms allow employers to see how a candidate portrays himself or herself to the public, and how he or she may present themselves on behalf of a company. You could disagree about cleaning up your page, or you could use this to your advantage. Instead, think of the positive features you could add to your online profiles. What do you want employers to know about you?
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again—think before you post.