Social media – Dos and Don’ts

As a millennial, it goes without saying that we share most of our lives on social media – both the exciting and the boring days. However, as a student, especially if you’re hoping to get a job at the end of it, you always need to be sure that you’re happy for what you’re posting to be seen more widely. So here are a few useful Dos and Don’ts of posting on social media…

Do

  • Always think about what you post before you post it! A good rule to follow is that if you wouldn’t want your relatives and a potential employer to see it, don’t post it at all. That way you don’t end up posting something that you will later live to regret.
  • If you do wish to post all aspects of your life, it’s worth making your accounts private to ensure that your content isn’t entirely visible and you keep an element of control in your social media profiles. To check everything is alright, log out and view your profile as a member of the public.
  • If your aspirational profession is something which could potentially require you developing a ‘personal profile’ and a selection of contacts, consider creating a professional account to showcase you as a professional rather than just your social life.

  • Mind your language! It may seem difficult if you have a mouth like a sewer or even just fancy ranting every so often, but your future could suffer if you’re constantly using inappropriate language.
  • Search yourself, delete your cache or use a new computer and google your name to see what comes up. If you’re lucky, your ‘record’ might be clean but, if you haven’t been careful with what you’ve been posting, you may end up scrambling to find a way to delete things on the internet! You could also set up a Google alert with your name so that you’re notified if people start talking about you online.

I did a quick search of my name to see what came up! Luckily mine mainly amounts to blog posts and my ALevel coursework!

A post shared by Talie Colbourne (@taliecolbourne) on

Don’t

  • There’s no need to post every single aspect of your life. It may be tempting to post your breakfast, your morning selfie, your afternoon run and the inevitable two-minute Snapchat story of your night out, but it’s just not worth it – no one needs to see that much. Censor what you’re posting to ensure that you don’t completely overload your followers.
  • Never, ever post your address on social media. It is the biggest mistake that is frequently made and it can lead to burglaries and fraud, so don’t do it!
  • Similarly, the new Snapchat map feature allows you to display your location to selected contacts. This can be tempting to leave on so that you can easily meet up with people, but remember that nothing on social media is completely safe and you could be endangering yourself by leaving this feature turned on.
  • At uni, socialising will likely be a large part of your life and therefore the temptation to create Facebook events for your get-togethers will be high. Just remember that, if you post something publicly on Facebook, it will be visible to everyone and therefore you could end up with unexpected guests that you never planned for.
  • The current Facebook craze seems to be tagging your friends in memes and posts which are relevant to them. While it may all just be a bit of fun and games, remember that the things you’re tagging them in may not be something they want to be known for and that their friends (along with your friends) can normally see when you’ve tagged each other in something.

Finally, don’t forget that what you post on your social media profiles has the potential to stay there forever. Regardless of whether you later delete it to rectify your mistakes, it has already been posted and may have been cached somewhere or screengrabbed by someone.

If you want to find more advice on using social media to enhance your career prospects, please visit the Careers website.

Meet The Author

Talie Colbourne

Hi, I'm Talie and I'm about to start my second year of Journalism at the University of Lincoln. Outside of my studies I'm a dancer and a skier (participating myself and instructing) and a gymnast. I also enjoy reading, blogging and spending time with my friends and family!

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