As students get older and start thinking about their plans for the future, some are starting to put a lot of consideration into what they post on social media. While social media accounts such as Instagram and Facebook are a fun way post about your everyday college students should be motivated to portray themselves in a more professional light.
Many of us think that earlier generations “lucked out” because their whole life isn’t behind a camera lens, and because of that, we need to be more careful about what we post. In reality, there is a fine line between creative expression and outrageous unacceptable material being posted on any accounts. As students of Keene State College, we are role models and we know that what gets posted online can stay there for a very long time—sometimes forever. It is definitely important to take caution when posting anything, because everyone is watching.
You don’t have to be famous to be stalked—not only your employers are googling your name, but maybe your family members, community members and anyone else that you could have crossed paths with. Creating memories with your friends is great, but remember there’s a time and place for that; make sure your friends know that too. No matter how hard you try to be professional online, if friends are posting on your wall or tagging you about last Friday night, you might not get that call back from that company.
Some believe it’s unfair for companies to ask employees to erase their social presence offline. You should not have to give up all of yourself for the satisfaction of your employer. However, Instagram also offers students the opportunity to archive their posts. In other words, users can make it so they are the only one to see certain posts. These posts will not appear on their timeline. Additionally, people who use Instagram or Facebook have the choice to make their account public or private. By making it private, you have to accept follow requests, allowing you to monitor who is looking at your account.
This gives college students to the opportunity to have both a personal and professional account. By making your personal account private and your professional account public, students can have the best of both worlds.
Another benefit of having a professional account is visibility. Art, film, photography, graphic design, or any kind of visual major has the opportunity to create an online portfolio that will pop up whenever someone searches your name. Instagram is a hub for photographers and can be a great way to network if you don’t have the chance to network in real life; Facebook can connect people across industries and give others the chance to see your projects and even decide to work with you if they enjoy your work. You may even be able to start a business or gain clients from an online account.
Creating a separate, professional account gives you a username you can put out anytime you meet somebody who might be interested in working with you—and you can leave a lasting impression on those who check back in on your profile the next time you post.
Don’t delete social media and drop off the face of the earth because your scared of an employer judging you, instead use the media to your advantage. Have a balance between you personal and professional lives while online or just make separate accounts. Show yourself off to the world; social media makes it that much easier.