Social media has changed the perspective of professionalism for a lot of people these days. There was a time where people only had to worry about being professional in the working world, but the Internet and social media has created a window right into everyone’s personal lives. Platforms going back to MySpace and to today’s more popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram have made it so people always have an inside look into what we are doing outside the classroom/workplace. The professional etiquette that everyone has used in these areas is slowly sinking and becoming apparent in social media today. As a senior, getting ready for graduation means having to find a job for life after college. I know that I need to make sure that while my social media platforms are a reflection of my personality, future job employers have access into these social media platforms and could get the wrong impression by something they find on my profiles. We should all know just how to have professional looking social platforms. Forbes has generated a list of questions to ask oneself when posting on these platforms but maintaining a professional mindset. These questions are:
- Should I target a speciﬁc audience with this message?
- Will anyone really care about this content besides me?
- Will I offend anyone with this content? If so, who? Does it matter?
- Is this appropriate for a social portal, or would it best be communicated another way?
- How many times have I already posted something today? (More than three can be excessive.)
- Did I spell check?
- Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this?
- Is this post too vague? Will everyone understand what I’m saying?
- Am I using this as an emotional dumping ground? If so, why? Is a different outlet better for these purposes?
- Am I using too many abbreviations in this post and starting to sound like a teenager?
- Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out?
- Is this really something I want to share, or is it just me venting?
But a few things come to mind when acknowledging the topic of social media’s role with the professional working world. Is social media really that big of a factor in the hiring process? According to Self Magazine, 93 percent of recruiters for businesses used social media in the hiring process with applicants. Hiring recruiters are putting in the work to make sure that they are looking into applicants’ life to make sure that they truly hire the right candidate for the job. By following these steps, are we simply taking away from our own creative voice? I believe that when it comes to professionalism, you do need to have a filter, but what people need to learn more of is simply incorporating their own creative voice, in their professionally appropriate posts. Just because you cannot post crazy pictures from the weekend, does not mean it is a bad thing. Keep those pictures on your phones or in an album that is only shared among you and your friends because you never know what you think is ok to post today, you could think is completely wrong in the future. Taking the simple necessary steps to make sure that while you are using social platforms to be a reflection of yourself and staying in contact with friends near and far, social media isn’t a “private” platform, it is recognized that they are public platforms and anyone can have see into what you are doing, putting a filter to what you share and post is what will make your social media pages, that much more appropriate and professional.