As a member of the Millenial Generation, those born between the 1980s and early 2000s, we know we like to share. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress, and Foursquare. Did we miss any? We actively share our thoughts, opinions, photos, videos, location, and just about everything else in between with our social media friends and various networks daily. Some of our notions are simple and humorous while others can be placed in the “oversharing” or “TMI (too much info)” category.
These days, colleges and universities, recruiters, and hiring managers openly admit to scouring through our social media profiles as a part of their background check to get a better understanding of who we really are, both online and in the real world. So before you apply to a college, for an internship, or your dream job take a peek through your social media profiles and ask yourself, “Is this professional enough?”
Here are a few ways you can clean up your social media profiles:
Facebook has a wide range of privacy settings, so make sure you put them all to good use. But no matter what, your name and profile photo and cover photo are still visible to everyone who searches your name. So begin with changing your profile photo to a more professional snapshot, a family photo, or a classy group pic. Take a glance at your cover photo and past cover photos to make for certain that there is nothing offensive on display but something that showcases your interests. Lastly, take a gander through your timeline and “hide” or delete past stories, events, statuses, or photos that you think your professional network may find offensive.
Start with your Twitter name, then the avatar, and then the bio. Even if your Twitter profile is set to “locked tweets” – any user can see your username, photo, and read your 140-character biography.
The same rules apply to Twitter – your username should be something simple and nothing offensive, your profile photo should be a modest headshot, and your biography should simply state your name, location, and maybe a fun tidbit about yourself or interests.
Scroll through your timeline a few times and delete tweets that you wouldn’t want your professional network to read.
Last but certainly not least, think before you tweet.
Think of LinkedIn as your online resume. Whatever you want your future college, employer, or colleagues to know about – your volunteer work, your internships, your work experience and education – you are able to include on your profile. Keep the professional trend going throughout and you should be all set!