Preparing your Social Media for the Workforce
Social Media: It’s very public, large and in charge and a necessary evil. Now that you’re in your twenties, your social media use could mean the difference between a paycheck and having to ask your parents for money again for this month’s rent.
In this day and age, your social media presence, no matter what the platform, is every bit a part of your impression on a company as your interview and résumé. With your job and livelihood on the line, it’s time to make your social media profiles even more than grandma-proof.
Even if you’ve already been hired, you might soon be cleaning out your desk if your profiles aren’t up to par. As an employee, you’re part of the face of the company and it’s bad PR for a company to have blemishes–even minor ones.
1. Damage control
The first step, though you should do this anyway, is to go through all your photos and untag yourself from any where you’re holding some sort of red cup or questionable glass bottle. It doesn’t matter if you’re of age or not, it doesn’t look too good if all of your photos are of you in a bar with a drink in your hand.
Also delete any posts with lewd content or obscene language. Sure, those posts may have seemed funny at the time, but your employers sure won’t find them nearly as funny.
2. Privacy, privacy, privacy
Second, put your profiles on lockdown. Most social media sites allow you to set different security settings to only let certain people view your profile. However, there have been programs developed that let companies get around these settings so still be careful about what you post and allow your friends to post to your wall.
3. Tidy-up appearances
Third, change your profile picture to something professional looking. I know it’s summer and you want to show off that awesome beach body you’ve worked all year for, but your boss doesn’t want to see your bikini, especially if their company is listed right underneath it.
If nothing else, change your profile name. Instead of using your first and last name, consider using your middle name in place of one of those or some sort of alternative name. This will make you unsearchable.
4. Use the powers of social media for good instead of evil
Once you are hired, promote your company. If they’re doing some kind of campaign, help them spread awareness through your followers. If your company has reached some sort of achievement, help share the celebrations by telling your friends. This will also help you to stand out within the company and put you on your boss’s good side.
On the flipside of that, never post anything negative about your work, even if something particularly messed up happened. Got passed up for a promotion? Tell your mom instead of posting it online. Is a coworker driving you nuts and getting a reserved parking spot on your nerves? Whine to your significant other instead of blasting them in a fury of passive aggressive hashtags. Trust me, they will find out and the resulting consequences will be way worse than the original problem.
5. Just think smart
All in all, just use common sense when posting to any of your social networks. Sure, they’re fun and great for checking in on people, but remember that you still represent your company, even online. If you question whether or not you should post something, don’t post it.
Now excuse me while I make edits to my own profiles.
By: Julie Eckardt | Photo Credit: Katherine Lee