Social media speak is such a big part of our everyday lingo. I say “like” and “tag” more times in one day than my dog’s name! And whether we like it (pun intended!) or not, who we are on social media affects how people see us in REAL life.
Sometimes we forget, what we think of as sarcastic or funny might not always be seen that way. Social media has the ability to INFLUENCE who people think you are…or are not.
Your college admissions counselor might take a peek at Facebook while reviewing applications because she wants to know what kind of characters she’s bringing on campus! As she’s browsing through posts, she comes across your rant from last Wednesday after you blew that math final: “UGH! I HATE SCHOOL! I am quitting, who is with me?” If she was on the fence about admitting you, that might just tip the scales.
Be cautious about what you “like” and who you “follow”. It’s easy for people to check out your interests and likes on Facebook. As a hiring manager, I often checked out the social media presence of applicants. I was surprised at the information people made public on their Facebook accounts! Trust me, the girl who just liked the page “Lazy People Problems”, didn’t make it too far in the application process.
Sometimes, we just need to put a little more thought into the image we create of ourselves online. Instead of shutting down your account or blocking everyone under the sun, consider asking yourself these two questions when creating your online content:
- What does this post or photo say about who I am? Does it fit with how I want others to perceive me?
- Would I be embarrassed if a future employer, professor, or college admissions board read this post or saw this photo?
Social media is meant to be fun. It’s also meant to be an expression of ourselves, but we can’t deny the fact that it has turned into an online platform for self-marketing. Take advantage of that! Showcase your skills, your positive relationships, your good nature, etc. Use your social media presence to make future employers and admissions boards WANT you as part of their organization or school.
Your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts can give you a competitive advantage and career head start if you make the right moves.