You want to get that scholarship? Do you want to be accepted into that club or organization? Do you want to get that job? Do you want to start a relationship with that guy or girl? You may have the grades, qualifications and recommendations, but there’s one thing that can beat them all: YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA.
Schools, companies, and organizations are looking at candidates’ social media before letting them in, hiring them, or granting them financial benefits and scholarships. Why is that? Isn’t it private? That’s why you don’t use your name, but a pseudonim so you could be free. That’s why you put your settings as private. Well… those decisions do not change the fact that the organizations will look for you. It will be just as harmful if they find that you have no noticeable digital activity. It means that you are not an active participant in the digital world, and that too is something being assessed nowadays.
The CEOs of all main companies have active social media, that is just as important as their brand or company’s PR strategy. People want to go beyond the obvious when they commit to an organization. They want to know what kind of ideas, activities, and values drive those who are in charge of their education, their peers, the school where they will attend, and the products they will use.
The irony of social media is that, while everyone knows that anyone can create a fake profile and make things seem better or worse than they truly are, it is still the most organic and true way to get to know the psychology of users. Habits and opinions displayed through social media, tend to bring out traits and skills that might not be so obvious during an interview or test. This is what makes this tool so appealing to recruiters.
Here are the 5 things you should know to keep the right message in your social media.
If you dont’ want it known don’t record it
When we talk about recording, it means photograph, text, video, or any media that may be shared, posted, or reproduced. It may seem fun to go out and party. It might seem a good idea to take a picture of how goofy your friend looks asleep and make it seem like they did something “wrong” just to tease them. Well… it’s not a good idea to share that photo on your social media nor theirs. It may seem funny, but to an outsider that will be a fact, and something that may impact their digital image for years to come. If you are in a party, put the drink down before the photo. If you drive and record yourself, you are basically documenting an illegal activities (in most countries you are not meant to drive and operate a mobile device). Even if people do not intend to harm you, devices get lost, stolen, and hacked. So if you do not want it to be seen, do NOT make it available for anyone to see it.
Create social media that shows what you need to show
If you chose to have a private Facebook account (which is strongly recommended for any non-public figure or professional), then make sure you have public profiles in other social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn. Make sure that such platforms have information that will be useful for someone who looks for it. Do not make it artificial, keep it real. A fake profile is just as bad as no profile. Don’t try to cheat the system, if you shared something with someone, it can always come up when you least expect it or want it.
Who you follow matters
Recruiters notice, not only your posts, and interactions, but also your interests. Some brands and companies deny sponsorships on the basis of profiles followed. If you have a friend who poses half naked in their profile picture, it looks just as bad for you as it looks for them.
Be extremely cautious of your profile picture and background images or videos
Avoid using logos, flags, slogans, and other things that are not a photo where your face is noticeable and clearly recognizeable. You can keep it casual and playful, after all it should reflect who you are. If the platforms or apps that you use have a background option, make sure that it also reflects your personality, beliefs, and values. Don’t take it lightly, they are elements that help your audience understand what they will find in that space.
Choose your social media
Don’t go around opening an account in every new platform that appears. Know that the main social media platforms as of today are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You need to have an account in at least two of those platforms, and you really want to work on your LinkedIn as a professional priority. Any other platforms you chose to use, make sure that you really know how to operate them and why you are being part of them. Yes, you can still have fun and enjoy your digital life, but you need to be aware of the impact of each and every one of your digital actions. Be aware of how others interact with you and how others tag and portray you.
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