Every year around graduation time, college students try to “cleanse” their social media in order to look more professional to potential employers. The exercise itself is a good one, but it’s something that should be practiced throughout college not just at the very end.
There’s a saying that once something is posted on the internet, it never fully goes away. So why not practice good judgement throughout your college career instead of waiting until the last minute. After all, you don’t expect to become a professional overnight, do you?
College itself is one big balancing act. During their college career a person learns to balance life, socialization and studies. The balancing act isn’t an easy one but it’s an ESSENTIAL one. If you think you’re going to regret drunk/party pictures on your Facebook profile, then why post them? With so many services available, it would be foolish to jeopardize your future.
Each person will have to decide for themselves what’s “kosher” and what isn’t as far as party pictures go. I personally have several on my profile, but nothing that I would really consider risque. The earlier you make this decision, the better off you are.
As a matter of fact, I can remember hearing stories from SIU student about their RAs monitoring social media and ticking them if they were caught drinking underage. I can understand this being a problem for those who are new to social media, but a lot of you have grown up with Facebook and probably know your way around Facebook better than your future supervisors do. So use that knowledge to your advantage.
If you don’t want your Facebook to be seen by potential supervisors or peers, then choose the private option. As a matter of fact, I don’t understand at this point why anyone would keep their profile on public at this point in time. Please note that even if your Facebook profile is “private” search engines will still show your profile picture and your “cover” image.
Another step you can take is to remove your Facebook profile from showing up in search engine. To do this, go to the setting menu and choose “Privacy.” The option to remove your profile from search engine listings can be found at the bottom of the list. The only problem with this is that potential employers like to see that candidates “exist” on social media, so hiding your profile from search engines may or may not hurt your chances of an interview.
The same can basically be said about Twitter as well. If you use the account to post your own “personal” thoughts that you wouldn’t want everyone to know about, including potential employers, then keep it on private.
If you get anything from this blog, let it be that the transition from college student to business professional doesn’t take place overnight. Rather it’s a gradual change that takes place over your entire college career, so don’t rush it one way or another.