Welcome back, everyone! We hope you had a relaxing weekend that brought rejuvenation for the upcoming week. As we near Halloween, we are gearing up for our own costumes and collecting candy and treats throughout this week!
Today, we wanted to chat about a topic that is ever-growing in the digital age and becoming more and more intertwined with our professional experiences: social media. It is almost guaranteed that social media will integrate into your career – whether this means by following and connecting with coworkers online, applying to jobs and having your social profiles scanned, or even identifying opportunities on channels like LinkedIn… social media is all around us. So, to ensure that your social profile will leave a positive impression on an employer and never hinder your success, keep reading below…
‘Clean’ Social Media Profiles 101:
- Google: It’s easy to forget about the tool right in front of us and that many of us use every day… Google! Our most popular online search engine is a fantastic place to start (even for those of you who are confident that your socials are all clean already!). Engaging in an online self-search is a perfect way to confirm that your online profile is not displaying images or information that you’re not aware of and that all information is up-to-date and reflective of who you are. For example, when I went to college and began engaging in a full-time job search, I remembered that I had an old Twitter account from high school; with the knowledge that I’d likely never return to the platform, I made sure to remove my tweets and deactivate my account as it no longer aligned with my professional profile and online presence.
- Archiving Photos: For those of you who manage social media accounts that you are no longer as active on but wish to keep online, temporarily “deleting” or archiving photos is a great strategy to ensure the pictures you have posted stay aligned with the way you wish to be digitally perceived. Especially for those of us who have profiles dating back decades at this point, it’s reasonable to assume that we don’t look like or feel like the same person that we were in 2010! So, keeping a clean profile by maintaining up-to-date information and pictures is important to feel confident in the way your socials are perceived by employers.
- Err on the Side of Less: While we encourage you to stay true to yourself online and embrace the digital age by participating in social media, we also want to make note that sometimes, less is better! While it’s exciting to share media in the forms of ‘stories’, pictures, videos, and more, it’s also crucial to maintain awareness that what you post lives online forever. So, steering clear of heavily opinionated content, political perspectives, and other ‘non-dinner table or interview topics’ is a great rule for keeping a clean online presence. However, we also recognize that these opinions are components of some of your careers, so toeing the line and establishing expectations in the workplace is a helpful strategy to ensure you’re ‘staying in line’. Also, remember, people cannot hear your tone, see your facial expressions, or ask you questions about the way you mean for words to come across online when evaluating your social content so be cautious of the way you word your posts so as to mitigate anything being misconstrued!
- Set Expectations: When in doubt, talk it out! As we briefly mentioned above, if you are unclear on your company’s expectations of online presence, create an open line of communication. If your name is posted all over company content, if you’re client-facing, or if you work on professional platforms like LinkedIn, your profile becomes associated with your company’s reputation. So, ask your manager, HR team, or dig into a company policy to stay informed about how you’re expected to behave online and where to create boundaries between your professional and personal presence.
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