So it’s time to apply for internships or a professional job: Resume, check! Cover letter, check! Social Media… wait, what? As many of you already know, your social media presence is constantly monitored by your parents (if they know how to log in), adoring fans and followers, and employers and universities!
Before you start to treat your online face, you have to know what type you have! Just like everyone’s face is different, so is everyone’s social media existence. You can be normal, sensitive or combination! Normal is the social media participant that shares and contributes just right: not too much hashtagging, not too much over-sharing. Sensitive social media users are those who are extremely careful of what they post. They are hyper-aware that nothing is deleted from the internet, and may also be the ones who do not add co-workers as friends and make their accounts ‘private’ or ‘friends only’. Combination social media users are the ones who have little to no division between professional and personal. What you see is what you get, and sometimes, you may need to be afraid!
Sometimes you want a clean slate, and exfoliating can do that. Get rid of all of those horrible comments: recently, FaceWa.sh (http://facewa.sh/) has been getting a lot of attention. FaceWa.sh allows you to “erase” your online trail! You maybe even be able to start from scratch. They are working on providing this service on Twitter as well.
Reppler (http://reppler.com) is a great site that allows you to tone your online face. Maintain the clean face by checking all of those unprofessional comments on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and more!
Now that your face is clean, you want to moisturize and make sure that it stays that way. You don’t want to constantly exfoliate and tone your online presence due to recurring social media blemishes! A great way to moisturize is to use privacy settings on your sites. Nothing is truly 100% secure or private on the internet, but you can at least monitor what people view! I do that all the time! =)
Finally, it’s important to protect your online face! Just like you double check to see how hot is during the summer, you need to do the same online. Google yourself every once in awhile and see what comes up. You can search by name or by frequent usertags (for example, mine is “nessabirdie”). By name I am a singer, model/reality TV star, research analyst, track & field star, and recipient of an amazing award. All of these things can help or harm me professionally. Protect yourself and know what you are getting into!
I hope these tips help you put your best face forward, offline and online!
VaNessa Thompson is a graduate student at Lawrence Technological University majoring in Technical and Professional Communication. She graduated with a BA in Communication from Michigan State University where she was a NSCS member. Currently, she is one of NSCS’s Social Media Ambassadors and one of Dormify’s Style Advisors! In her free time, she blogs and vlogs! Feel free to tweet her @nessabirdie!