Once you reach a certain point in college, you have this crazy realization that your social media is not ready for employers to start looking at. It's a scary idea to consider, but many of your future bosses will probably look you up. Picture this: Karen is about to land her dream job and then her boss looks her up on Instagram, sees her doing a keg stand at a frat party and thinks, "hmm maybe we shouldn't hire Karen. She doesn't seem ready." Worst. Case. Scenario.
First of all, you're going to want to remove any and all questionable pictures. That includes anything with a red cup, ping pong ball, shot glasses, fraternity signs or anything that might suggest you are participating in some not-so-professional behavior. As sad as it is to say goodbye to these great pictures, by keeping these memories to yourself, you might just be saving your future career. Once your social media is scrubbed of any unprofessional pictures, it's time to start building your professional profile.
You know that saying, "fake it till you make it?" It describes what you are about to do perfectly. Do some research about what other people in your field are posting on their social networks. Find some things on their profile that you could model yours after. For example, if you are aspiring to be a personal trainer, find some personal athletic accounts. If they are posting a picture about how they meal prep to keep their nutrition on par, you could totally model this on your social accounts. If you want to enter the corporate world, maybe some professional headshots or a picture of your proudest accomplishment would be beneficial for you.
When it comes to publishing photos, you want to make sure they are good quality. Pixelated or poor quality images will show future employers that you don't care too much about what you are putting out there into the world. This is the last thing you want them to see- besides those keg-stand pictures of course.
After completely scrubbing your social networks, the last thing you want to do is dirty them up again. So, there are some things you will want to avoid. For example, if someone wants to be a journalist, they will want to avoid posts that might hint at a bias. If they are about to get hired by a conservative news channel and they have liberal media all over their Twitter, it might cost them the job.
As time goes on, social media is becoming increasingly more important and being mindful of what you are putting onto social networks will be imperative when getting hired for a job. Be the person whose social media is squeaky clean. Don't be like Karen.