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Why you should improve your social media profiles NOW

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Here’s Why You Should Improve Your Social Media Profiles Now

Social media is no longer a personal platform

I’m Trap Music Barbie on Twitter. 2 Chainz has it right. Pretty Girls Like Trap Music. However, during the job search, my potential interviewers did not know that. Why? Because they could not find me on social media. Keep reading to see how to improve your social media profiles.

Are you a college student or a recent college grad? Are you looking for a job or an internship? You’ve come to the right place! These days, students and graduates are using social media as an entertainment outlet instead of a professional outlet. Time and time again, I’ve heard from potential employers and current bosses about how they have looked at the social media profiles of a potential candidate. There are stories floating around about how students are getting kicked out of school for something that they posted online. That’s what makes this topic so critical. In 2015, I completed a mock public relations campaign about the dos and donts of social media. I feel like now would be a perfect time to reiterate what I found. If you have not, now is the time to improve your social media profiles.

Social media is designed to be a way to stay connected with family and friends. This is done by sharing photos and statuses about everyday life. Because of this, employers are using it as a tool to search for potential candidates. A glimpse into their life is found at the click of a button.

Social media is a window into a person’s life. A potential employer could learn everything they need to know about you. By the time you land an interview, the interviewer will know where you live, what your favorite food is, and what your dog’s name is. This is why it is important for college students and graduates to manage their social media properly and learn how the use of it could affect them positively and negatively. Try to look at your social media profiles as your digital resume.

The Statistics

  • 72% of all college students have a social media profile
  • 45% of college students use a social media site once per day (aabri.com)
  • 93% percent of employers say that they will search for your social media profiles during the interview process (workopolis.com)
  • 89% of job recruiters have hired employees through LinkedIn
  • 26% have hired employees through Facebook
  • 15% have hired employees through Twitter (socialnetworking.procon.org)
  • 42% percent of employers surveyed have decided not to hire someone due to what they have found on that person’s social media profile (workopolis.com)
  • 78% students posted illegal drugs, 47% posted pictures with alcohol
  • 61% percent of potential job candidates used profanity, 66% of candidates have posted sexual content

The Dont’s

Photos and statuses that contain:

  • profanity
  • references to sexual activity
  • references to drugs and alcohol
  • discriminatory language
  • poor grammar and spelling

will cause potential employers to react negatively to a job candidate.

If your social media profile is public, then it gives potential employers a glimpse into your life. Having a public profile could prove beneficial if done correctly. Consider the tips on how to improve your social media profiles if you opt for a public profile. Poor use of social media could ruin your chance of receiving a job. You wouldn’t put that you get LIT on the weekends on your resume, would you? No. So, don’t include it on your Twitter page. As fun as it may be to see how many friends will “like” a picture or post, a potential employer is hitting “dislike.”

References to sexual activity and profanity show a lack of judgment and professionalism. Similarly, poor spelling or grammar and religious content can also cause an employer to change their mind (socialnetworking.procon.org).

“Whenever I evaluate a potential employee, I always take a look at what is publicly visible on their Facebook profile,” Ryan Cohn, vice president of social/digital operations at What’s Next Marketing said. “On two separate occasions, I have rejected entry level prospects (finishing their senior year of college) for featuring firearms in their profile picture. Both were qualified in terms of experience and otherwise would have been worthy of an interview.” (mashable.com).

The Do’s

These statistics should not discourage college students from using social media. In contrast, they should encourage students to post engaging and positive content for their peers, families, and potential employers.

  • 51% of employers want to see if the candidate will fit in with their corporate culture well.
  • 45% want to see if a candidate is qualified
  • 44% are searching for evidence of a candidate’s creativity (workopolis.com).

You should make it a point to include your education, skills, achievements, and awards. You should also post photos that demonstrate your connection with your campus and/or community. Additionally, posts that prove communications skills are also a plus. These factors will either make or break your chance at a new job.

In the past, I have had people tell me that they could not find any of my social media profiles. That is because I did not want them to be found. This does not mean that you cannot keep your personal life separate from your professional life. It simply means that it is important to have separate social media profiles. You can still wild out on Twitter if you want to, and post your favorite bottle of Ciroc on Insta. Just don’t let it become searchable on the web.

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Brittany Bright

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