By Sarah Evon
It’s no secret that the power of social media is rapidly increasing in our society today. It has veered away from just a Gen Z audience and has grown to include employers, businesses, younger generations, and yes, even our parents are learning to become active social media-lites.
As students, we all know that we need to monitor our Facebooks, Twitters, Instagrams, etc. when going through the job search process. It is inevitable that employers will be using all of the tricks up their sleeves to see what image we put out on more than just our resumes and cover letters.
As I’ve spent more time perusing the “careers” tab on the websites of potential future employers. Looking more deeply into the job search and what I want to be in the “real world”, I’ve noticed how important it is to be aware of my social media presence.
I’m a huge list-oriented person, so I’ve compiled a sort of “Social Media Goals” to-do list for myself. (And of course, it’s an ongoing list…)
- I’m not Kim Kardashian – none of us are – so while I may “like” her Instagram photos, I’m not going to use her posts as a guide for my own. And by that I mean no selfies. Studies have shown that posting an excessive amount of selfies can actually damage your work and personal relationships. According to a joint study conducted by the University of Birmingham, the University of Edinburgh, and Heriot-Watt University, “increased frequency of sharing photographs of the self, regardless of the type of target sharing the photographs, is related to a decrease in attachment.”
- As with most things in life, keep it positive. I’m not one for Facebook statuses or really sharing what I’m thinking via social media, but it is important to be mindful of what I’m “liking” on Facebook and Instagram and “favoriting” or “retweeting” on Twitter.
- Lastly, because I know that potential employers can access my social media accounts, that doesn’t mean I have to limit myself on them. In fact, a goal of mine is to actually increase my social media presence, but in a thoughtful, creative way. As a communications major hoping to go into the advertising/marketing/public relations field, it’s helpful for my career to have a good presence on social media.
While this list is slightly personalized, I encourage all students to keep in mind your social media presence and how you appear to employers, as well as to your peers. Whether that be through a set of goals like me or another method that works better for you, like Nike preaches, Just Do It!