The College Edition on How to be Professional on Social Media.

The College Edition on How to be Professional on Social Media.

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In high school, putting illegal or inappropriate things on your Facebook could get you in trouble with your parents or even the school. As you graduate and move out of your parents’ house, there will be a lot more freedom and very few rules being held over your head. Social media is not being watched by a high school administrator or by parents that can punish you over your postings anymore. Now, you have to be the adult and choose what is the right and wrong thing to put on the internet.

Eventually, new college students will realize that keeping their Facebook page clean and up to date will be more important than ever.

Being a freshman or a sophomore does not give you a free pass to avoid being professional. In fact, those early years before you are an upperclassman may be most important in getting involved and establishing yourself as a young professional adult. In your degree, you are not only competing with your peers at school to get that picture-perfect resume but also with the other universities in the state. One thing to get ahead of the students in your class is to clean up all those social media networks you are a part of. All of them: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, and even your personal blog page.

  1. Keep your pictures clean. If you are under 21, do not post pictures that show you drinking or taking shots. There is a date on everything you post, whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Also, do not post pictures that show you doing illegal drugs or inappropriate acts. This goes for videos and YouTube as well. Keep your profile picture nice and clean even if your profile is blocked. Yes, you can set your account where only friends see those pictures, but when your academic department or dean requests you as a friend because they think you may have potential, they will soon find out you may not be that star student after all.
  2. Write an “adult” bio.  Don’t brag about how many shots you can take or how many times you have shoplifted, because that won’t be impressive to future employers. Just simply write what school you attend, your major, and three appropriate things you are interested in or hobbies. Don’t be boring but do show your personality.
  3. Clean up your “Likes” page. Again, you don’t want to show the whole world that the only pages you like are liquor companies and inappropriate establishments. “Like” sports teams, college organizations, brands, restaurants, or anything else you wouldn’t be ashamed to show your 70-year-old grandma.

Now, we are not saying stay in your dorm every weekend and don’t socialize, but just be smart about it. You get one shot at this college life and although “living it to the fullest” may be the new motto for you, a few years after you graduate and you are not finding a job to pay the bills, you will wish that your motto would have been a little different.