Graduating College in the Spring? 5 Ways to Polish up Your Online Presence
Students who will be graduating soon should consider how their online presence reflects their actual personality or how they want it to reflect their real personality. Employers will be looking for a responsible, reasonable adult who knows that there’s a time and place for most things and who can represent their company in a positive light. College graduation is not the time to have a 100% open relationship with the internet and work is not the place to be connected to social media. There are few things soon-to-be graduates can do to polish up their online presence and have a better chance of being hired into a professional career.
1. Privacy Settings Please
It’s crucial for soon-to-be graduates to adjust their privacy settings on their social media pages. Potential employers want to know that applicants know how to separate work and fun and behave in a manner that reflects their company culture. Grads should adjust privacy settings to be as strict as possible. Make sure that what employers can see is positive or neutral and represents you as a professional (READ: “Fullerton College Tutor Tips: Work-Life Balance in College”).
2. Match Your Image to the Company Culture
Another thing college seniors can do is think about how their image relates to the company’s image. This will most likely be affected by a student’s LinkedIn profile. Students wishing to go into a non-profit, for example, should make sure that any recent volunteer experience is readily displayed. Future journalists should provide a link to any freelance articles etc. If the company is very serious, the student’s LinkedIn profile and social media page should also be. If the company is innovative, the student’s profile should be progressive and so on.
3. Your Personal Life is Personal
Every person is entitled to a personal life. However, it should be separate from work and not displayed where a potential supervisor or colleague can see it. Soon-to-be graduates should be careful of whom they allow seeing their social media pages and, if they’re connected with networking contacts for current colleagues, they should be sure to keep their most personal life offline. It’s amazing how quickly a small comment can make it back to the wrong person in the office.
4. Avoid Controversy and Excess Negativity
Students might be used to discussing controversial or negative topics online. Unfortunately, many companies will not want this negativity in the workplace. The office environment is meant to stay neutral and allow each and every employee to feel comfortable while getting their job done. Avoid bringing such negativity into the workplace by first taking it off of online profiles. Try and keep things positive or, at least, neutral during a job search (READ: “5 Reasons to Learn a Second Language in College”).
5. Don’t Discuss Your New Job
Probably most importantly, it’s essential that recent grads don’t discuss their new job online once they’re hired. Although it’s great to let friends and family know that you are now working at a new company, that’s about all you should say. Lots of information will be confidential and should never leave the office. Additionally, if new employees don’t like certain aspects of their job, they should always keep these comments private. It can be unpleasant if an employer finds out that an employee has been telling 850+ friends that they really didn’t want to work late on Friday. What may just seem like venting to you can be taken very personally by a colleague.
When students start to look for their first post-graduate job it’s a good idea to look at all online and social media profiles and clean them up. Although it’s unclear how many employers do social media checks, it’s much better for them to find a positive and professional online presence if they do go looking. For a while, it’s better to keep personal topics offline and save the difficult or negative discussion for face-to-face socializing.