Social media is a part of our daily lives. It helps us stay connected with people across the globe, share ideas, and build an online image for ourselves.

In college, social media is extremely important as students transition into their professional lives. Students should be using their networks to impress employers and think of their accounts as mini-resumes.

Here’s how to make your social media cleaner for college to impress those potential employers and to keep yourself out of trouble:

1. Delete any photos you’re unsure of.

There are two reasons you should do this. The first is that when you get to college you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself. So maybe it’s time to get rid of those pictures with your ex, or any other photos that you don’t really want your new friends to see. It’s OK to clean up your social media image and delete anything from your high school life.

2. You aren’t fooling anyone with that emoji.

Putting a pizza emoji over your red Solo cup really isn’t fooling anyone. Sure, people won’t be able to PROVE that you’re underage drinking, but they know. It’s obvious.

Just put the drink down and take a cute picture. It’s really as simple as that. Your photos will look better — trust me.

3. Make your account private.

If you want to continue posting your pictures, opinions and other content without worrying about who is going to see it, make your account private. Still know that it’s important to censor what you post, but making your account private will make it harder for a potential employer to access your account.

4. Make a LinkedIn profile and use it.

LinkedIn has become one of the ultimate networking tools. College is the time when you should be networking as much as possible so you have connections when you are looking for your next internship or job. Many internship applications now even allow you to link your LinkedIn profile to the application instead of sending in a traditional resume.

Related: Why your social media presence should be professional

 

So, if you’re going to make a LinkedIn profile, you should also use the platform. That means keeping your profile up to date with your latest activities and accomplishments.

5. Use your social media to stay informed.

By now, almost every school and organization has jumped on the social media bandwagon to keep in touch with their audience. Be sure to follow your college, clubs and even news organizations to stay informed. Social media is such an easy way to stay updated on what events are happening on campus, so follow those accounts if you want to be in the know about when your club has free food.

6. Be careful about what you share.

Here is the golden rule: Is this something your mom would be OK with you sharing? If you answer yes, then post it. If not or if you’re unsure, just don’t post it.

And when it comes to sharing your opinions, remember these opinions could be out there forever. So, if you’re looking to go into politics, or really any profession, be careful what you post. It could come back to haunt you.

Kellie Bancalari is a student at George Washington University and a USA TODAY College digital producer.

 

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