Reality Check: Spring Social Media Clean Up

Spring Social Media Cleaning | New Faculty

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‘Tis the season! The hiring season is upon us! I see finely dressed students on campus for greek life events, but more importantly:

  • career fairs
  • internships
  • interview season!!!!!

I was eating cupcakes with a faculty friend and we were joking about how ridiculous we probably looked shoving cupcake into our piehole at lightening speed. We decided that perhaps not really a social media moment–a ‘real life’ moment for sure, but nothing that was really worthy of an instagram. We started swapping stories of some of our students (former & current) and their desire to ‘connect’ with us over social media. It turned into a “who’s worse” kind of conversation and we both had some dousy’s to share. I don’t know if a winner was ever declared–(is there ever really a winner in these?)–but we did determine a few things:

  • there really should be an app that screens your pics before posting.
  • most apps should automatically be shut down after 11 p.m. to help this.
  • there should be some sort of ‘screen’ prompt – “are you SURE you want to post this?”
  • when in doubt, just don’t….

As we sprint towards Spring and you may be on the job market, consider your social media presence. Clean it up, take it down, deactivate it. Job prep doesn’t just involve making sure your business suit is clean and your job talk is prepped, it now means making sure our online presence is also tight. If you keep a website, blog, twitter, instagram, facebook, vine, snapchat, linkedin, etc… update them, clean them up, change your preferences for privacy if you’re concerned, make sure that profile picture fairly represents the “you” that you want out there for the public to see.

As a former web designer and IT person, I can tell you this:

  • everything can be hacked
  • no one is 100% “private” anymore

So, do yourself a favor and spend some time cleaning it up this Spring. Like Spring cleaning, it can be fun to go through memories, therapeutic to purge some of the ones we’d like to forget, and can help us get our online presence in check with the presence we want to sell to potential employers. I find myself deactivating a few times a year, making sure my own search engine optimization is in check (what you see when you google yourself) and use services such as brandyourself.com to help me make sure people see what I want them, not the other way around.

You know people don’t usually go beyond page 2 or 3 in a google search, so spend a little time now and clean up your searches.  I know I’ve not always been studious about this and I do let it slip because I get busy with my real life presence and forget about my virtual presence. It’s one of the times I do appreciate an email from whatever service it is to say, “we haven’t seen you in a while, want to update us?” I usually do or at least click on my profile to make sure it still conveys the message I’m trying to send (awesome, hello???) 😉 I know the email reminders can be a bit tedious, but it does remind me to check myself on social media.

We’re not going back to web 1.0 anytime soon, so we might as well participate in our online presence. Take the time now that you’ve invested a few moments in reading this post and tidy up your online feeds. I have never heard anyone say, “i’m so bummed i lost 30 min cleaning up my social media.”

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