Social media presence and how it can affect the future

Tips for making social media pages professional

Sarah Austin | Lifestyle Editor

We live in a time where social media is used by almost everyone for anything from communicating with friends or family, storing photos, promoting businesses, to much more. When applying to a new school, program or job, it is important to check one’s social media presence beforehand. 

Students have experienced employment rejection based on posts they may have forgotten about or did not think about when uploading. People may be unaware that prospective employers check our pages, and they do it for many reasons such as gauging personality, professionalism, if a resume matches and so on. Here are some tips for cleaning up social media that can help protect oneself in the future.

  • Go through old posts and status updates searching for any unprofessional things such as derogatory comments, confidential information from a prior job, drama and inappropriate photos.
  • Photos holding alcohol, partying or otherwise inappropriate activity should be archived.
  • Make accounts private in settings, and on Facebook, choose “Friends” for activity, or “Just me” for posts that would be best kept personal.
  • Double check resumes and what is listed on social media for any inconsistencies on dates, volunteer work or jobs.
  • Deactivate or delete old profiles that are no longer in use. This will give a clean search and also keep emails free of spam.
  • Google oneself to see what potential employers will see.
  • Check personal following lists on all accounts, removing any controversial or inappropriate pages.

      This does not mean a person has to censor their life and have no control over their accounts. It is a word of caution to be aware of what is being put on the internet and who may see it. A rule of thumb is if it would be uncomfortable to show a supervisor, do not post it. 

      Contact the author at lifestyleeditor@thewesternhowl.com

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