By: Mahina Husain @hiinabebs
We all know social media is a great tool to connect with friends, post photos, share funny moments and show your personality to the world. However, it can also cost you a job. Over 60% of employers reported using social media to research job candidates. Of those employers, 55% said the reconsidered an applicant because of something they found. So what can we, college students, do to prepare our profiles for the “real world”?
1. Get Active
We are the technology generation, use that to your advantage. Think of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as tools to help you get your dream job. 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find talent, 65% use Facebook and 55% use Twitter. By getting active on these sites you are helping get your name, face and talent out there. Join conversations, like, retweet, share all these things help to show that you are involved in a community.
2. Clean House
Go through your friends and followers to find those acquaintances who post questionable content. If you wouldn’t post it yourself you may not want it connecting back to you. The people you virtually surround yourself with says a lot about you. Employers don’t want to see a bunch of posts about alcohol and drugs, and they probably don’t want to see that you associate with people who post a lot about alcohol and drugs. Apps like Tweepi and InstaGhost can help you clean through your connections.
3. Use Correct Grammar
More than half of recruiters say that they have had a negative reaction to someone’s grammar usage on their social media. It only takes a moment to read over that Tweet or Facebook post. Using correct grammar makes you look professional and makes your opinions seem more valid. For students hoping to enter into communications, writing is going to be a major part of your job. If you can’t spell something on your social media how can an employer expect you to write well for them?
4. Don’t Badmouth Anyone
Yes, the 1st Amendment to the Constitution gives you free speech but you
probably definitely don’t want to use that right to badmouth any past coworkers, bosses or offices. So what if you want an Apple instead of a PC at your desk, or a new coffee pot in the break room keep these things to yourself. Complaining for all to see can be taken as petty and would you want to hire someone who seems petty?
5. First Impressions Matter
Is your profile photo of you at a party? Is it of your kids or your dog? Is it blurry? Are you wearing inappropriate clothing? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, change your profile picture. Use a clean professional photo, one that you would proudly show your grandma and hang on her mantle. Let your potential employer see you as someone who would fit well into their organization.
The bottom line is you can be a college student and have a professional profile online. These tips might seem obvious but a majority of college students don’t follow them and it ends up costing them a job. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have opinions or questionable friends, rather that you keep those things private. Like the title suggests sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it.