Finstas, thirst traps, delinquent activity hidden with emojis, oh my! Regardless of the lectures your teachers gave you when you were younger, you’ve probably fallen victim to society’s crazy social media trends at some point in time. The bad news? Posting inappropriate or, say, less than tasteful photos (I see you, underage red solo cup holders,) videos, and captions can wreak havoc on your future. The good news? It’s never too late to clean up your socials so you can put your best foot forward when it comes to your online presence – and using these social media tips can help.
You may be wondering why it matters at all – it’s not like employers are really going to take the time to look you up online, right? WRONG. Social media is often the first place potential employers look to gauge who you are as a person, and it comes as no surprise that a party-girl feed may be off-putting.
On the other hand, if your socials depict you as someone professional, respectful, and even social media savvy, that can get you major bonus points in the job hunt. You don’t have to post pictures of you donning business professional attire to be a good candidate – selfies, photos with friends, and photos of you living your best life are fine, as long as they’re appropriate. In a bar underage? You should probably keep that off Instagram. Thirst traps? Save them for your camera roll.
Besides impacting your future job searches, social media can also be utilized to start building your personal brand NOW. If you want to one day own a business or use your platform to influence others in ANY way, social media is a great place to start. (And to help you start brainstorming about ways you can build a business online, I put together this checklist .) By building rapport with your network and giving the public the chance to connect with you in a positive light, you are setting yourself up for future success.
Here, I’ll give two examples of A-OK posts and how you can make sure your feed represents you the right way – even if it’s not all business:
Here is a beach picture – a bikini picture, in fact! While bikini pictures ARE NOT automatically inappropriate, posing in a way that is classy helps people from getting the wrong idea about the purpose of the post. You can make what might look like a thirst trap look instead like you’re well-traveled and adventurous if you focus on the background or place and strike a pose that you wouldn’t mind your future boss seeing. And, you can still look GREAT doing it!
Though drinks may have been served at an event like the one in this pic, I kept them out of my photo, even though I (Christi) am of legal age. Even if you are of age, be cautious when it comes to posting alcohol in your pictures – that includes red solo cups or simply putting an emoji over a beer. Sipping wine or a martini at a nice banquet is FINE (again, if you’re of age,) but avoid posting pictures where you look visibly intoxicated in a bar or at a party. Some memories are best kept in the camera roll!
Follow these guidelines and tips and you will be well on your way to presenting yourself in the best light possible on social media.