Whether you’re a freshman in high school or in your last year of college, your digital footprint remains with you wherever you go. As you mature through the years, you have the ability to see your life in pictures, tweets and short videos. You can cringe at the clothes you wore at the middle school dance, reminisce on past relationships and delete old pictures you never wanted anyone to see in the first place.
But with hindsight being 20/20, how can we actively make sure that our online identities accurately reflect the best real-life versions of ourselves? Some surveys claim that over half of current employers check up on job candidates’ social media accounts during the recruitment phase.
Here at Yup, our math, chemistry and physics tutors are used to interacting with students in a social interface. In a digital world that tracks your every footprint, we’ve come up with some strategies to put your best foot forward.
Being (selectively) Private
Certain social media platforms now allow you a bit more freedom about what you choose to display to Google’s open engine. While Facebook allows you to toggle which aspects of your profile are private versus publicly available, Instagram and Twitter only allow you to choose between fully public and “Only Friends”. Choose wisely what pictures and phrases you make visible.
A Living College Application
The utility of social media means a lot of different things for different people. The current generation has deviated slightly from its original purpose to allow humans to interact with each other in meaningful ways. Instead, many young people prefer to “flex on the Gram”, i.e. show how fun last weekend’s party was or how on fleek their outfits are.
Sorry for sounding like your dad.
Instead, re-think each of your platforms in terms of a personal branding strategy. Your Instagram and Twitter should display your interests and achievements – sort of like a living version of a college application. Your résumé should come to life in your LinkedIn page. Employers don’t look through social media just to see if you’re a liability; they also want a glimpse into your personality, interests, travel experiences, etc.
So show them how cool your life is!
Politically Correct, Incorrect or Neutral?
We offer online homework help in math, chemistry and physics – not politics. However, we are well aware of the debate raging over free speech, political correctness and voicing our opinions in general. In the advent of Donald Trump’s electoral surge, our friends and family have hoisted up their keyboards and taken to the battlegrounds of our newsfeed. We cringe as it unfolds.
If you choose to display your political views on social media, that’s at your discretion. But before you post that long rant on current events, you may want to ask yourself if it’s worth your employer establishing assumptions about you. It’s difficult to curb that youthful idealism, but it may be worth it in the long run.
Stating the Obvious
It goes without saying that having content of you engaging in illegal, sexually explicit or hedonistic activities is likely to have a negative impact from an employer’s standpoint. Even if you’re of age, posing in photos with alcohol is a risky move, especially if that photo is their first impression of you. Keep the alcohol in real-life, social settings – not in your profile picture.