Everyone has some sort of social media account. It is an inevitable and sure-fire fact of the 21st century. Especially students. As a student, you probably have at least one account from the long list that exists, including Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. We all know that what you put on the internet, stays on the internet…meaning you can’t erase your past mistakes (sorry if you were hoping you could hide those party pics). It is a high likelihood that your future employers might do a Google search with your name to see if any red flags pop up. Because of this, the impact a negative presence on social media might mean you don’t get the job. To avoid that, we’ve come up with a list of do’s and don’ts when using social media as a student. Let’s get cracking, shall we?
This is not a lecture…sort of
Okay, we don’t want to lecture you about social media, but we will anyway. Social media is great for making new friends or to network professionally. We’ve heard stories about celebrities who make a fool out of themselves online, but it also applies to students. Because of this, you need to pay at least some attention to what you post. Even if you delete a picture you regret taking the next morning or a comment on a post, you might still be tagged in other people’s photos or it might have been shared. Of course, you don’t have to stop having fun altogether; no one expects a college student to stay at home 24/7 and stop socialising and going out. Social media isn’t so serious all the time; rather, you should use it to your advantage. But, you should be aware of what you are posting!
Let’s do some social media management
- Make your profiles private, if that’s an option.
- Form as many connections as you can with other students, professionals or people related to your studies or field of interest. This could be on a platform like LinkedIn, for example.
- Upload pictures from your semester or year abroad! This can show you are interested in visiting new places and cultures, and can show that you are the great, open-minded person that you are. Moreover, this also goes for any other trips abroad you've done during summer vacation, for example.
- Show that you have interests and hobbies, and that you are a well-rounded person.
- Add yourself to all the groups you are involved in. People can usually see this on someone’s profile. If you were involved in a student association or volunteering group, that’s a great asset to have!
- Share articles you find interesting. It might be a good idea to have some sort of social media presence in the field you are interested in!
- Google yourself to see what come up. If there is something you don’t like the look of, you can edit or delete it.
- Are you a student entrepreneur or have your own business? Flaunt it! Use social media to promote yourself and your business, and make connections that might be useful for you in the future.
- Be negative or aggressive online. Free speech is important and you are entitled to your opinions, but be smart about it. Basically, don’t be a hater and don’t be a troll. As a result, hateful, even harmful and hurtful comments will not paint you in a bright light.
- Post anything illegal. That means drugs, violence, or any sort of stealing or damaging!
- Share sexually explicit stuff…you know what we’re talking about. That can come back to haunt you in the long run.
- Don’t rely on privacy settings. They aren’t always as reliable as you might think them to be.
- Have an embarrassing or inappropriate handle or name. This is on-par with having an email address like email@example.com or markisthebest2406 or something equally bad and cringe.
- Use strange or inappropriate hashtags. Hashtags are often forgotten, but you can also be found using them!
In short, be aware of what you are posting to your social media or networking sites, because what goes around, comes around. With these do's and don'ts, you'll be the most social media-savvy student there ever lived!
Do you have any tips about using social media as a student? Leave a comment!