For the rest of you internet-loving, Insta-obsessed Twitter trawlers, there’s something you might want to know.
If you’re a uni student, you’d be well aware that growing up in the 90s meant learning the hard way about how the internet was going to define the way people see you. MSN was your primary mode of communication, and you’ll probably never live down that MySpace profile that’s floating around on the deep web somewhere. But other than your mates trying to resurface that selfie you took before the word “selfie” made it into the dictionary, there are some other people looking for you online, and you might want to be a little more concerned with their opinion…
Just about every employer these days will Google you after you leave the interview, and for your sake, we hope they like what they see. If, perchance, you aren’t entirely sure of what your social media history looks like, here are a few tips to make your social media presence and professional as your interview game.
Remember that Facebook page titled “I f***ing love seeing people fall down stairs”? Of course you don’t. You ‘liked’ it when you were 15. Last year I went back through all the pages I’d ‘liked’ on Facebook, and I was pretty mortified – there was stuff in there I would NEVER like if I came across it today. It takes a bit of time (since we were so click-happy when Facey became a thing), but it’s a good idea to go back through the archives and ‘unlike’ those pages.
LinkedIn is fantastic. It connects you to the digital world in a professional way and allows you to make heaps of connections to companies and employees that you aspire to work for. The only downside of LinkedIn is that it’s an “all or nothing” kind of profile. By that I mean: if you’re going to create an account, don’t half-arse it, it looks sloppy and makes you look worse than if you didn’t have a profile at all. If you’ve signed up to LinkedIn make sure you take the time to sit down and work out how to best present yourself in the professional social sphere.
If you happen to still be using your Hotmail account from the early 2000s, it’s highly likely that it’s something ridiculous like:
No offense to Pr1ncess_starsh1ne_12345@hotmail.com, but you need to chuck that thing out, pronto. It’s not a huge deal, but a simple email like:
Firstname.firstname.lastname@example.org is much more presentable to employers. Let Pr1ncess_Starsh1ne come out on the weekends.
Oh shoosh, as if you haven’t done it already. But seriously, make sure that nothing untoward comes up when you Google your full name. Make sure you check the ‘images’ tab too – that unfortunate MySpace profile picture from your 13th birthday might appear – and no one wants to see that…
We’re all adults here, so none of us are posting abusive or hurtful comments to people online. Yay for us! If, by chance, you’re reading this and you’re not sure you can come sit at the adult-table because of something mean you said to a random on Twitter, maybe just head on back over to Twitter and delete that bad boy. Starting from today you have a clean social slate! Welcome to the adult-table – we have cookies.
No brainer, right? WRONG. I’ve worked in the full-time world for 8 months and it is amazing how many people don’t check their emails. If you give an employer your email address on your resume MAKE SURE YOU CHECK YOUR INBOX. You’ve got mail.
There are about a zillion reasons why I never want to see my MySpace profile again, but preventing an employer from seeing it takes the cake. There is probably nothing worse than missing out on an opportunity because of something you could have easily prevented online, and jobs for students are precious, precious diamonds in the rough.