Today’s social media platforms make it really easy for us to build our networks and share our experiences, thoughts, insights, personal information and areas of interest. But could this be putting our future at risk?
What we post online today will be available for years to come, to be viewed by future employers, university admissions or even identity thieves. Here are some tips to help guide you through best-practice online:
1. Be aware
The nature of social networking tools such as Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat just to name a few, encourages online users to reveal more personal information than they should. Social networking platforms mirror traditional ‘real-world’ social networking, to the point that for some the online world has become an extension of the real world, minus the consequences.
With this being the case many individuals fail to exercise the same amount of caution online as they would when they meet someone in person leading to missed job opportunities, the potential to commit a crime unknowingly and putting their personal safety at risk.
2. Look yourself up online
Potentially after years of online use this may be something you have never done before. You may come across more negative content about you than you expected. This can include provocative images and comments etc. Content like this can easily cost you an opportunity as employers today take what is posted online very seriously. It gives them insight into an individuals personality and can raise questions about their level of professionalism. If you do come across negative content online, find the source and review your privacy settings.
3. Review your profiles
93% of recruiters are reviewing candidates online before making hiring decisions. With this being the case, use your profiles to your advantage! Ensure that your privacy settings are actioned and content is appropriate to a wider audience, should you choose to keep your profile public.
When deciding what should stay and what should go, apply the ‘family theory’, if you wouldn’t be happy sharing it with a family member, then it doesn’t’ belong online.
Once something is placed online about you there is no guarantee you will be able to eliminate it. Remember to use your social profiles in a professional and compelling way. If you keep this in mind, the likelihood of posting something you will regret later down the track will be reduced and you’ll enjoy benefits such as staying in touch with friends, while protecting yourself and maximising your career opportunities.