6 Easy Ways to Create a Professional Social Presence

Posted: June 19, 2018 10:00:00 AM CDT

professional social presence imageIt’s no secret that your first face-to-face interaction with someone isn’t always the true “first” impression. Today, we often make first impressions via social media. Although many personal questions cannot be asked in a job interview, future employers can often find the answers just by taking a peek at your Facebook or Insta profile—who you’re friends with, articles or companies you’ve liked, and even your political views and relationship status.

Social media is not only playing a dramatic role in our personal lives, but also in our lives as professionals and students. In the last 10 years, it’s become increasingly important to manage your social media footprint; that’s why companies like Scrubber are beginning to boom with business. For college students seeking jobs, scholarships, or graduate assistantships, presenting yourself in a professional manner, even on social media, is a key to success.

Consider these 6 easy steps to improve your professional social presence:

1. Think twice. You’ve probably heard that if it’s not something you’d want to show your parents or grandparents, it’s probably not appropriate to post on social media. It’s a simple concept that can help you filter what makes it onto your social media profile.

2. Update your profile. Keep information current, and note certain spots where you could potentially sell yourself to a future employer or academic entity. A great start is beefing up your bio and about section, including your educational experience. How do you want to be known personally and professionally?

3. Keep it personal. There’s a fine line between maintaining professionalism while still shining a light on who you truly are. Employers and universities do want to know the real you, not who they wish you were, so let your personality shine as long as you keep rule #1 in mind.

4. Professionalize your profile picture. This may be your future employer or Department Chair’s first impression of you, and depending on your privacy settings, it may be the only picture they’ll see. Be sure to use an appropriate photo where you are easily identified. This prevents having someone else’s profile mistaken for yours if they have the same name.

5. Develop your personal brand. Act like a professional by following social sites that are relevant to your field of study or career, and be active in the conversation. What pointers could successful people in those positions give you? How are they presenting themselves? Share articles and posts relating to those positions or fields of study.

6. Google yourself. Head over to Google and see what could potentially be pulling up for you in a search. Not only is your social media presence important to consider, but your Internet presence can also affect the first impression. 

A final thought: keep gaining new skills through education and professional development, and keep them front and center in your social presence. Explore online programs and courses in your field that you can complete from anywhere through UNK eCampus.

By: Alyssa Wyant

Category: eCampus, General

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