Create Your Social Media Balance
Posted by John R. Manzo
A first impression can make or break someone from getting a job. It’s better to get off on the right foot with a company than the wrong one. With social media so prevalent today, employers will check all your platforms because they represent you and allow you to brand yourself. Do you really want an employer to see you doing a keg stand in the middle of a fraternity party because of a picture you posted on Instagram? If you do, don’t expect to be making many in-person first impressions because an interview won’t likely happen.
Here are a few suggestions to help balance your personal life, while still being professional on social media’s most-used platforms:
1. Don’t Post Swear Words on Facebook or Twitter
Plain and simple. It looks trashy and unprofessional. Not many companies are going to interview someone who posts that he or she is “pissed” because their “stupid-ass teacher” gave too much homework or that you think your work uniforms are “the lamest shit ever.” Keep the foul language to yourself.
2. Avoid Emotional Tweeting
This one could be the most crucial rule because it can be difficult to avoid posting when you want to speak your mind. If you’re emotionally frustrated, you’re more than likely going to speak freely without caring what the ramifications are. You will look foolish and employers will recognize that you’re an ill-tempered person who clearly cannot control your emotions. Take a step back and realize why you shouldn’t tweet that.
3. Be Careful with Alcohol
If you’re under 21, employers won’t want to see you posting tweets about drinking, doing drugs or being pictured in situations with them. If you’re over 21, it’s one thing to tweet you’re having a couple drinks with friends or to upload a picture of you enjoying a drink on the beach– but don’t make it a habit. If your past 15 tweets are about drinking or you have 15 straight pictures of alcoholic beverages, employers are going to assume what your priorities are.
4. It’s OK to Have a Social Life on Social Media
After all, it is in the name. You don’t always have to retweet professional articles or be 100 percent about your career on your social media platforms. Feel free to be you– just remember what was written above. If you want to tweet how much you enjoyed the VMAs, tweet it. Employers don’t expect you to be a hermit.
Social media is a fun, new way to be you. It allows you to reach out to professionals for advice, stay connected with family and friends and it gives you a way to market yourself unlike ever before. Just know that how you market yourself could determine if you get an opportunity or not. All it takes is an opportunity, but it also only takes one mistake.