We know that you know better than to go on political rants on Facebook, shame celebrities on Twitter, or post inappropriate photos on Instagram. But your social media accounts could definitely use some improvement. Are you showcasing your best well-rounded attributes? Are you showing your kindness and respect for your family and friends? Are you using correct grammar? These are just some of the checkpoints that will make your social media accounts more accurately and positively reflect who you are to a future employer. Because according to a Careerbuilder.com survey, 65% of employers check out your social media before hiring. Gulp. Don't worry, there's time to clean it up. Here's how.
1. Keep it positive.
Facebook and Twitter are great forums in which to complain. Whether you want to share a story of horrible luck, post a picture of the burrito you dropped on the floor at lunch, or other relevant daily woes, your friends may find it funny and commiserate, but your employers might think you're a capital "C" Complainer. Humor is great, but don't get carried away in sarcasm.
2. Do a grammar check.
Contrary to popular belief, grammar is not dead. Even when you post online in a rush, bad grammar is something that future employers can judge. Especially if your desired field involves a lot of writing…If you need a brush-up on your grammar (it's okay, we all forget whether punctuation goes inside or outside of quotation marks), this will help.
3. Be interesting.
Okay. So you went out to the ice cream shop and took a picture of your vanilla ice cream cone. Does this mean you're just vanilla? Well, no. But future employers want to know that you can be beyond vanilla. That means peppering your accounts with interesting articles that you've read (that you've actually read) and providing insightful (but not offensive) commentary. Liking pages that you're impressed by such as organizations, charities, publishers, news sources, artists and companies will help give your future employer the implication that you have interesting passions and are deeply engaged with the world.
4. Lead with your strengths.
While people often brag on their social media accounts, there's a way to show that you are a competent citizen without going overboard. It's okay to post about a prize you've won, or a fun day you've spent with your long-lost brother. If you say you like to cook, then your social media accounts better have images of tonight's 5-star dinner. Social media, while informal, gives people a chance to see you deliver the goods.
5. Show that you're part of a community.
Friends and family are a huge part of appearing likable on social media. If all of your pictures are selfies, that might not make the best impression. It's great to showcase pictures of you having fun with other people, enjoying family time, and getting out there in the real social world. Also, thanking people when it's your birthday and wishing them the same when the time comes, giving random compliments to others, and tagging friends shows that you are conscientious and thinking of someone else other than yourself.