Everyone has at least one social media account. It is an inevitable fact of the 21st century, especially for students. As a student, you probably have at least one account on Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook. We all know that what you put on the internet, stays on the internet. It is a high likelihood that your future employers will search your name on Google to check for any red flags. Because of this, a negative presence on social media might prevent you from getting 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.
This is not a lecture about social media…sort of
Okay, we don’t want to lecture to you about social media but we will anyway. Social media is great for making new friends or to network professionally. We’ve heard all stories about celebrities who make a fool out of themselves online, but this 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. 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 socializing or going out. You should use social media to your advantage. This starts by being 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.
- 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 an open-minded person. 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. This type of information is usually displayed on your profile. If you are involved in a student association or volunteer, you should definitely showcase it!
- 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 comes 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 international connections that might be useful for you and the future of your company.
- 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. Hateful, harmful and hurtful comments will not paint a positive picture of you. Beyond that, being a decent and courteous human being online isn't that hard.
- Post anything illegal. That means drugs, violence, or any sort of stealing or damaging of property!
- Share sexually explicit stuff…you know what we’re talking about. That can come back to haunt you in the long run.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or markisthebest2406 or something equally bad and cringy.
- Use strange or inappropriate hashtags. Hashtags are often forgotten but you can also be found using them!
In short, be aware of what you post on your social media or networking profiles because what goes around, comes around. With these do's and don'ts, you'll be the most social media-savvy student ever!
Do you have any tips about using social media as a student? Leave a comment!