The internet, and social media, in particular, are great ways to share information about yourself: how you’re doing in school, what sort of parties you attend, and what sort of places you travel.
However, remember the internet leaves a permanent trail. As you grow older, social media becomes less about interacting with friends and more about creating your personal brand for potential employers to review.
With modern technology, finding information about someone is as easy as a quick search on Google. The internet is a convenient way for a potential boss to explore who you are outside of your carefully written resume.
For example, if a potential boss stumbles upon a picture of you drinking or partying, that would ruin his or her image of you. It is essential to be careful about the content you are posting on your social media.
Here are some tips for what NOT to Post:
· The Grandmother Rule: Google yourself and clean-up your online presence. Delete any posts you wouldn’t show Grandma.
· Edit Online Usernames: Make sure your email address is appropriate. Silly, vulgar or otherwise unprofessional usernames might look good to teenagers but send the wrong message to adults.
· Check Your Privacy Settings: Know what can be seen publicly. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” so make sure you’re OK with what those words might be.
Being cautious about what you are posting does not mean that you have to only post about school functions. As long as you are careful, you can still have fun creating your social media posts and interacting with your friends.
What to Do: Use Social Media to Help Your Image
While posting harmful pictures or text can be damaging, you can also use the information you share about yourself for good. Certain photographs or posts can put you in a more positive light.
· Craft Your Personal Brand: Advocate for something you care about or an organization where you actively volunteer. Post pictures of different interests or hobbies, such as sports, art, and volunteering.
· Show Your World-View: Posting your travel pictures show that you are independent and open-minded.
· Create Positive Conversation: Posting intellectually stimulating content, such as quotes from scientists, political leaders, and writers will display critical thinking.
Overall, this type of positive social media content can reflect well on your character and could potentially give you a leg-up when applying for jobs.
The main point is to be cautious of what you post online, for it can follow you anywhere. Even when you delete content, it can always resurface. With that in mind, enjoy building a positive reputation for yourself by creating positive social media content for all of your friends, family, and potential bosses to see.
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