Why It’s Important to Have a Professional Social Media Presence in College
When I was a freshman in college, the last thing I was thinking about was making sure I had a professional Facebook page. I had just started college, how about I worry about waking up in time for class first? I carried this attitude for all of my freshman and sophomore year of college. It finally took my college advisor telling me that it was time to have an adult account Facebook and all of the other social media I used.
At first, I really dreaded the idea of putting together a whole professional presence. Like I don’t already have enough stuff to do? I spent all my free time in the summer building my profiles, and I am actually really grateful that I was pushed to do it. Having a professional social media presence online has helped me immensely. Below I have put together a list of how to build your online presence. I hope this makes the transition of becoming an actual working adult, a little less painful.
Start by redoing your resume.
- Ok, this sounds super boring and daunting, I get it. However, this is one of the most important steps. Having a strong resume to share is just one way to be taken seriously by potential employers. Plus, it makes building profiles and listing experience on your profiles much easier.
- Include charity work you have done, but avoid over-padding. A future employer will not care if you were named, “most likely to appear on a reality show,” in high school. Just stick to the stuff that has happened during college.
Create a professional Facebook page.
- This is actually really simple. You can even manage your professional page from your personal account! On the home page of Facebook, look under the “Pages” list, and you can create your professional page from there!
- Include a professional portrait, or a simple head and shoulders photo of yourself. Avoid the duckface, or smudged-mirror pictures, they’re unprofessional, and gross. Like come on, how hard is it to clean a mirror?
- Make sure you post something interesting on it at least once a week. Some examples, projects you are working on, interesting articles, or things that relate to your professional goals.
Make a LinkedIn account, and actually use it.
- LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms for making professional connections. It’s also very easy to set up! Make sure you fill out as much as you possibly can, the higher your profile score is, the more people will be shown your profile. The best rating you can receive is “Expert.” Make sure you use a good, professional photo for this particular social media profile. Many employers look at LinkedIn before making a decision about hiring a potential employee.
Make a professional Twitter account.
- Twitter handles that actually make sense are hard to come by. So the sooner you sign up for a professional Twitter account, the more likely you will be able to get a somewhat professional Twitter name. Twitter is a great way to connect directly with many who are in your industry. Tweet about your projects and goals. Twitter is also a great place to talk about news and ideas relating to the field you wish to go into. This is another account that you should post on a few times a week. If you let your Twitter go dead, what was the point?
GET A PROFESSIONAL EMAIL ADDRESS
- I didn’t write that in all caps for no reason. Everyone has a dorky email in middle school that haunts them until they finally make a new one. Putting an embarrassing email on a resume or professional page makes you look like you have no idea what the word, “professional” even means. Emilyluvsdogsandjustinbieber@hotmail.com is not something an employer wants to have to type in, plus that’s so embarrassing, like middle school didn’t suck enough. Don’t let middle school haunt you forever, just take five minutes and make a new email.
I hope that these tips made your life a little easier! Now go conquer the world!