Social Media: web and mobile technologies that promote interactive communication between communities, companies, groups, and individuals. Social media sites include everything from Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn to YouTube, Flickr to Pinterest, and many more.
As a college student, you may use social media sites for fun and entertainment at first. Facebook is an extremely popular way to get to know fellow students you meet around campus.
However, you are also entering a new stage in your life. What you say, do, type, and post online carries weight and can follow you for years down the road. It is important to be savvy as you navigate the online world of social media.
Remember that you may be a college freshman now, but in four years you will be a college graduate competing with the rest of the world for a job. Before graduation, you will probably apply for internships. Employers are not strangers to social media and can easily look up your online profiles if they so choose. Stay one step ahead and protect yourself from potential pitfalls of social media.
- Don’t hide behind your computer. When you type comments or blog personal feelings from the safety of your living room, make sure they are things you’d say in real life, too.
- Don’t post questionable photos. Photos of students partying or making crude poses might be funny in the moment, but if they go up on your Facebook timeline, they will reflect on who you are and how you spend your time.
- Don’t go overboard. This applies to any student currently internship or job hunting. If you post too frequently or bombard your contacts with information, this may turn them off to the prospect of being connected to you.
- Be yourself! Just because you are wary of what you post doesn’t mean you have to turn into a drone. Maintain your personality on your online profiles! People use social media to get to know you as much as they can before they meet you. Keep that concept in mind when interacting online. Use it to your advantage.
- Watch the time. Use social media, then take a break. The world outside awaits! Also, when contacting potential employers, be mindful of the time of day. Sending an email at 2am might give off the impression that you are a night owl. This is not necessarily good or bad – just be mindful that they may interpret it one way or the other.
- Take your time. If you are about to post something in the heat of an intense moment, save it as a draft or come back later. Again, once it’s out there, it’s out there!
Social media can definitely be harnessed to help you find work and meet amazing people. Use it to your benefit, not to destroy your stellar reputation.