Social Media Mishaps and Marketing Yourself

The world of technology is constantly growing , making it more available to teens and young adults than ever. Social media sites can be accessed online by a computer, ipad or tablet, cell phone, and even a smart watch. The sites are accessed by people of almost every age group, however teens and young adults remain the demographic that uses them most. According to Social Media Today, the average person spends almost two hours combined on social media sites every day. Over a lifetime, that equals to about five years and four months. Teens and young adults are spending this time on the online sites posting statuses, pictures, videos, and sharing them with friends. Posting a picture to Instagram or writing a status on Facebook may seem like second nature to some teens, but it is important to pause and think about the consequence it could have on your future before clicking that button.

According to PR Newswire, 70% of employers look up job candidates on social media sites as a way to screen them for hiring. Once someone applies for a job, the employers check out their Facebook or Twitter to see if they are a good fit for what the company is looking for. Social media sites aren’t just being utilized by employers, colleges are using them to learn more about their applicants as well. US News reports that a Kaplan test prep survey interviewed over 350 college admissions representatives, and 35% reported that they have looked at an applicants social media profile to learn more about them and make their decision. It is crucial to look at your sites and be sure you are marketing yourself in the best way possible. So what types of post would hinder a teen from landing their dream career or future college acceptance letter?

Social Media Mishaps

  • Complaining or Badmouthing: You shouldn’t be caught talking badly of a past job, school, teacher, friend, or expressing anything negative on your social media profile. Colleges and employers will see this and be hesitant to take the next step with you for fear you will turn on them as well.
  • Using Bad Grammar and Spelling: It is acceptable to use shortened lingo for cases such as Twitter when the maximum characters have you limited. However, due to a Jobvite survey 66% of employers said they look negatively on a candidate if they use poor grammar or spelling on their site.
  • Drugs, Alcohol, and Other Inappropriate Posts: Posting a picture or status that references the use of drugs, alcohol, and other inappropriate content or activities will make your site be viewed in a negative way by prospective employers and universities.

How to Market Yourself

  • Zero Social Media Presence: A college or future employer should be able to find you easily when searching. If you don’t have a social media account or have extremely high privacy settings, it looks to them as if you are hiding something or have nothing of value to share with others. It is important to be “searchable” and have just enough social presence.
  • Quality Not Quantity: Colleges and Employers are not looking at how many followers or friends you have on your site, but they are looking at who follows you/who you follow and the connection exchanged.
  • Clean it Up: Go through your sites before applying to any schools or jobs and make sure it is clear from any posts or pictures that will be viewed negatively. Don’t forget things you are tagged in as well. Think the phrase, “Would your grandma approve of this?”. Check out this app that scans and cleans up your social media sites SimpleWash.

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