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Top 5 Do’s and Dont’s of Social Media

With the end of the semester coming up, now is the time for submitting internship applications and other things to make plans for having a productive summer.
But turning in applications also involves the chance that potential employers will look you up online, and Facebook and other social media sites are often the first place they look to scope out the personal lives of applicants.
To make sure that you’re prepared for whatever gets dug up, here are the top five dos and don’ts for having a clean and professional social media presence:

·               DO edit your privacy settings
This is the easiest and most effective way to prevent employers from seeing personal information on your social media websites. By setting your profile, posts, etc. to private, no one will be able to snoop without you giving them permission first.
This is definitely recommended for Facebook, but Twitter is a bit harder because the purpose of tweeting is to communicate in a public forum. So if you don’t want to make your tweets private, just be sure that you…

·               DO edit posts for content
While social media are meant to be an outlet for expression, there is such a thing as giving too much information. Make sure that your posts aren’t too emotional, cynical, opinionated or anything else that could offend employers or make them think negatively of you.
Your tweets in particular should make sure to present you in a professional fashion, so instead of tweeting how much you hate your philosophy class, maybe tweet a link to an interesting article you read that day to show your intellectuality.
·               DO NOT have provocative or incriminating photos
Whether you’re tagged in a photo or not, any negative images, such as a photo of drinking, smoking, sexual humor and more, can give off the wrong message. Employers don’t want to hire someone who they don’t think will take the position seriously, so be sure to delete any photos that could give them the wrong idea. The general rule of thumb is, “if you wouldn’t want your mother to see it, don’t put it on Facebook.”
·               DO NOT post any personal information
And by personal information, this means home addresses or phone numbers that only your close friends and family should know. This rule isn’t targeted at being professional as much as it is a safety guideline so you can be sure that no one can look up your home information without you knowing about it. But if something is going on where people do need your address and phone number, message them privately with the information instead of posting it on their wall or in an event.
·               DO get rid of dated content that has no relevance
            Even though high school seems like it was just yesterday, you don’t necessarily need to have a photo album of that time you and your friends skipped school to go to Bojangles, or the note you made with your sophomore class schedule so you could see what classes you had with everyone. Your social media presence should be all about what’s going on in your life presently and what you’d like to do in the future, so looking into the past isn’t the most professional way to market yourself. You can always save old photos to your hard drive, so go through and delete anything that’s three years old or older.
By following these simple tips, you’ll thank yourself when you’re doing your dream internship over the summer with no worries of negative posts or pictures ruining things for you.

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