With the creation of new innovations and the rapid growth of social media, people are constantly adapting to the new trends and styles of communication. This year alone, over 600,000 local businesses have active pages on Facebook. LinkedIn has over 50 million members worldwide and the average number of tweets per day exceeds 27 million. With so much activity occurring on social media sites, it is important we know the do’s and don’ts of proper conduct and etiquette on our personal profiles.
(Statistics gathered from Econsultancy, Digital Marketers United)
WHAT NOT TO DO:
Social Media is amazing, it allows us to create our own personal profiles and connect and build relationships with old friends, new friends, family members and employers. However, be mindful of what you say on your page. Avoid profanity, sexual content or even simple complaints about a job, because you never know who might see what you post.
Gloria Gadsen, a sociology professor at a university was suspended after updating her Facebook status with complaints about work which alluded to violence. She posted, “DIDN’T want to kill even one student today…” Officials were later notified about the posts from students, resulting in her suspension. (Reported in ABCnews March 3rd 2010)
Another key point is to be aware of the pictures you post on your page. Some people have thousands of photos on their page, so be sure none of the photos will cause an employer to second guess your credibility within their company.
A NYC emergency medical technician was charged with posting a photo of a corpse on Facebook. Not only did the EMT lose his job, he also had to attend court on behalf of misdemeanor conduct. (CNN June 4th 2009)
Lastly, be careful of which groups you join on Facebook. There are positive groups such as, Hug a Stressed College Student, or groups dedicated to amazing people. However, there are also groups which discredit your reputation and may lead employers to not hire you. Avoid negative groups or groups of controversy, because an employer might have an opposing perspective.
WHAT TO DO:
Take advantage of all the opportunities social media creates for students. Creating a LinkedIn profile is one of the best ways to network with employers and alumni within your field of interest. They can help you find information regarding internships or groups and organizations to join in order to build your resume.
Another great way to use social media to your advantage is by following companies or organization profiles. Company events or job postings are mentioned on Twitter throughout the day, and by being a follower, you have the opportunity to respond to this information quickly and uniquely- especially in comparison to other students who may simply views their website.