These days, people might look at you like you’re crazy if you do not have some form of a social media presence, especially if you are under 30! There are a multitude of social media platforms that allow us to connect. In a matter of seconds, we are able to post, share, like, network, and reach a small or even a very large audience. Social media has done so much for the world, bringing friends, family, and strangers together in a way that we never thought was possible. People are now able to find you with a simple click. Because it is now incredibly easy to find others online, it is also easier for future employers to research you and discover your own online brand.

Many employers are now researching potential job candidates before hiring. This also means that they are likely to reject candidates for certain behaviors portrayed online. Many employers use social media to observe their current employees. If you know how to use social media appropriately, it can even help you land your future job. It is important to be aware about the content you put onto your social media accounts, especially if you are looking for a job after graduation.

Here are some important do’s and don’ts to consider before applying to any job. Once you land a job, here are some tips for appropriate social media behavior. The tips are very important in building your personal brand as well as a positive online presence.

Before you begin applying to jobs:

Do clean up your current posts. Previous and current posts and photos will always matter to employers. Things like profile pictures and cover pictures. Erase any signs on alcohol, drugs, or inappropriate photos. If these are not erased, this could be how a potential employer views your personality. Do not come off as lazy, irresponsible, or inappropriate. Make sure that everything about you is up to date and consistent on every social media profile that you own. You will want information from your resume to reflect who you are even on social media. Online personal branding can include information about your education, location, etc.

Do show interest in your industry. It is always helpful to share content that relates to the industry or field that you are looking to land a job in. This shows that you are serious about the industry and are willing to learn more. Potential employers looking at your profile will be happy to see that the industry really is a passion for you.

Do set your accounts to private. Setting your personal social media accounts to private will limit who can see your posts. It is possible to block profiles from seeing photos or posts. Be sure to update who can tag you in photos and who can share your photos to their story or timeline. If there is a photo you don’t want spread around or seen by employers, it is best to not post it at all.

Do spread positivity and kindness. When we were kids, our parents used to tell us that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. The same rule applies on social media. Saying anything negative or unkind about something or someone can leave a bad taste in an employer’s mouth. Share good news and accomplishments are yourself and also others. Just be kind.

Do stay active on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is there to help you land a job. Use it! It is the top professional networking website, so be sure to keep your profile updated. Network with people and get that job!

Don’t mix professional and personal. There are professional social media websites like LinkedIn, and there are some such as Instagram or Twitter that are meant to be more personal. Be cautious about posting personal things to LinkedIn as this is more of a professional social media. If you want to post about your weekend getaway, take it to another platform.

Don’t get political. Social media makes it incredibly easy for us to voice are opinions and to share propaganda. Getting into politics can stir emotions and make people upset. It is important to respect others and keep things that you are sharing on a professional level. Employers can even decide to not follow through with your job application because they disagree with your personal beliefs. It is best to just stay out of it on your public social media pages.

Don’t overshare useless information. The world does not need to know what you ate all day or how bad traffic was all week. Oversharing useless information can be a turn off to employers. Before making a post, ask yourself, “do my employers really need this information”. If the answer is no, just don’t post it.

Take these do’s and don’ts and use them as best as you can. Social media is a wonderful resource and can help you land that dream job if you use it wisely. Allow social media to help launch your career, instead of destroy your career. Use these tips and become the most successful recent graduate out there!

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