How To Make Your Social Media Accounts More Professional

By Victoria Robertson on February 7, 2015

This article is brought to you by Dream Careers, the largest global internship program for college students offering all-inclusive programs in 11 cities worldwide. To learn more about Dream Careers, please visit us at

Maintaining a professional character in your personal life may not seem all that important, but when applying for jobs in the near future, you’ll find very quickly that it actually is.

Modern employers can and will be using students’ social media accounts as an entryway into learning more about the potential employee, to see if they are a good fit and, most importantly, to see if they are responsible.

So while you may currently use your personal social media accounts without discretion, it’s now hit the point where you’ll want to be as professional as possible, in your academic life as well as in your personal life.

The most important thing you can do is take down any inappropriate pictures, posts, you name it. If you think it could pose a problem in the future, you don’t need it online. Of course, this begs the question: what’s appropriate and what isn’t?

Even if you are 21, posting pictures of yourself drinking straight out of a bottle of vodka, or bar pictures where you are barely even opening your eyes won’t go well for you in the eyes of an employer. To them, this shows that you are too young and irresponsible, clearly not ready to hold a professional job, let alone a career.

Any family vacation photos, nice pictures of you and your roommates, you and your dog, etc. are all fair game. In fact, many companies like to see that you have a strong family and/or friend life, as this shows you are capable of being a team player.

As far as posts go, try to stay away from foul language and avoid controversial topics. If an employer sees you frequently like to start fights on social media, they’re going to assume this will translate into your job performance.

Social media is the perfect way to outlet any internship work you’ve done. Post those study abroad statuses or even post any community service opportunities you’ll participate in. The list here is endless, and the more you stick to statuses such as these, the more professional and driven the employer will see you.

Something else employers look at, which you may not think is that big of a deal, is your profile picture itself. There have been large debates as to what these should look like, and it depends on your social media outlet.

LinkedIn, for instance, is typically the place for a more professional looking headshot. However, other outlets such as Facebook and Twitter could call for a cute group photo, as this displays your ability to work as a team. Either way, that mirror selfie of you in a swimsuit just isn’t going to cut it in terms of looking professional.

Another important thing to look out for on your social media accounts are your interests and friends. While these don’t seem like a big deal, any company worth searching a little more can find some things you may not want them to in this way.

Anything you want to keep private shouldn’t be on your social media account to begin with, but if for some reason back in high school you decided to put some interest on your Facebook that could come back and bite you later, remove it. Better safe than sorry.

Also, having friends that are repeatedly tagging you in events or photos that could make you look bad will only hurt you. It’s best to remove them now, before it’s too late. This also goes for adding people you don’t know: only add people you know and that you’re confident won’t make you look bad.

Really, the main thing you need to keep in mind here is that you should always think before you post. This goes for all social media sites. If you think something is a potential problem, delete it. You won’t regret it later, I promise.

Social media shouldn’t have to be a means of holding you back when it comes to a job, and it would be terrible for an employer to disregard your application because of an easily avoidable social media faux pas.

So go check out your social media accounts, make sure that they’re employer friendly, and keep up with them as much as you can. In the modern age of technology, you can’t afford not to.

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