By: Natalie Bittel
Social media allows you to share everything and anything with the world—from what you had for breakfast last Monday to what dress you wore out to dinner on your birthday. You can engage with your friends and family in a matter of seconds and no news is really “news” anymore. By the time you see someone in person, chances are, you’ve already posted about what you wanted to share with them, and they saw it the second they signed into their social accounts.
However, because we are so quick to share everything, literally everything, we can get caught up in posting things just for the sake of others seeing it, hoping to get as many likes or retweets as possible. Especially for millennials still in college-mode, the content we post may be driven by us wanting everyone to see how much fun we have with friends and all the “cool” things we do. Although it might be fun to share countless pictures from your spring break trip, there comes a time to put those photos into a folder for your eyes only. Sure, employers know that many college kids go out after spending the bulk of their week in classes, but they definitely don’t need proof of it when they’re looking you up as a potential job candidate.
There is a huge difference between the things people post on Facebook for their family members to see versus what they post on Instagram for their peers, but why? If you’re going to filter what you put out there because you don’t want your grandma to see it, then why would you put it out there at all? The internet is a massive hub of all things social—anything you post is there forever, even when you may think it’s gone. With social media being such an integral part of our society today, it is an additional way for employers to get information about you, beyond your resume and interviews. Employers are curious about what you do in your free time, and how you behave off the clock. They look to see whom and what you surround yourself with, to get a better, well-rounded opinion of who you are, not just as a student or a recent post-grad, but as their potential future employee.
My advice? Take photos of your fun college experiences, because those are the memories that you will want to hold onto forever. Share them with your friends, but also with your family. In other words, only post photos online that you are okay with your grandma—or future boss—seeing. Take down anything that may give the wrong impression or convey the wrong message. Your social profiles are the most organic representation of who you are in the smallest snippet. Don’t fill those snippets with things that will make someone push your resume aside. Represent yourself well in all aspects of your life, every day. This will lead you to further success down the road—both personally and professionally.