Social media is a great way to connect with friends and family, which was the initial intent. Now, social media can be used as a tool to help professionals connect with other professionals, especially on sites such as LinkedIn. Many employers will look at the social media accounts of potential employees, so it is important that make sure you are maintaining professionalism on your social media accounts.
1. Keep your posts “classy”
It may be tempting to post a photo of you and your friends at a club or tweet about how you drank all night for the past week and are now hungover. However, this makes you look unprofessional. It is okay to post photos or updates of you having fun, but make sure to do so with discretion and not under the influence. Also, avoid excessive cursing. Spare friends and followers vulgar details.
2. Limit how much of your life you share on social media.
Go ahead and post your exciting news or the great meal you had. However, it is unnecessary to post about every single activity or update the world each time you work on your assignments for school. You do not have to post everything about your life. It makes it seem like you only do things to please social media and don’t do things in real life.
3. It is okay to disagree, just do so respectfully
If you see a friend’s post that you disagree with, do not hesitate to post your opinion, but do so with respect. This is especially true if you are commenting on a post that is not your own since you do not know what kind of connections your friend may have to your future employers or who may be able to see the post or comment.
4. Privacy settings are your friend
Have at least one account that you keep on high privacy, but still be careful about what you post. Having all of your accounts set on super high privacy settings makes it look like you have something to hide. For me, I have my personal Facebook account on the setting that only my friends can view my posts, but I have a “Like” page where I post my professional work and posts.
5. Showcase work you have done
This is especially true on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. While you may have an online portfolio of your work on a website such as WordPress, using social media can help you get your work out there and showcase your abilities to those you are trying to impress. This is especially true if you are going into a career in social media.
6. Share your accomplishments, but do not brag
While it is important to showcase what you have accomplished, do so with humility and respect. Not everyone who is following you on social media has had the opportunities you may have been given, so bragging about how many awards you have, such as saying, “Add this to my awards pile,” makes you come off as rude. Showcase your accomplishments, but remain humble and thankful for the blessing.
7. Use correct grammar
There is nothing that will diminish your professionalism quite like incorrect grammar, especially if you are going into a writing-based field. Sure, nobody’s perfect and you will make mistakes, but constant errors in grammar can hurt you in the long run. Also, avoid using slang or internet language, especially if you are posting on a public page or are commenting on someone’s post. It can be easy to forget that you should be maintaining professionalism on your social media.
8. Join groups relevant to your field of study and network
The best way to use social media is to network with people in your field, and there are a variety of ways to do this. Join Facebook groups of professional societies you are a part of or the group your employer has set up. Comment on people’s posts and introduce yourself. This allows you to meet new people and get noticed by people who can lead to your next job.
9. Do not complain about employers, past or present
There is nothing worse than a potential employer searching through your posts and seeing you complain about your current or previous jobs. This leaves them wondering if you will complain about them as well. If you have the urge to vent, find a close friend and either text or private message them. Avoid posting or commenting complaints on public areas.
10. Limit time on social media
Go out and live your best life, don’t spend all of your time on social media. Sure, use social media as a tool to boost your network, but plan to meet your new connections in person. Attend networking events where you meet people face-to-face and attend seminars. This will help you in the long run, since most jobs also require professional face-to-face interactions. These are some great tips for maintaining professionalism on your social media.
What do you think of these tips for maintaining professionalism on your social media? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
Ashley is a recent graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA with her Bachelor's in journalism. She love writing articles about music and Philadelphia. Ashley would love to pursue a career in journalism in New York City.