By Ali Daly
I know we’ve all heard this a thousand times before, but your social media is an essential part of your online resume seeing as employers have access to all your social media channels. In a survey from CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers use social media to learn more about candidates before hiring. With this in mind, photos of you and your pals on summer vacation getting wild may not be the kind of content you want on display. I get it, a feed full of your accomplishments and work trips can come off as inauthentic, which brings us to a tough question: how to balance work and fun on social media?
Optimize your bio
This is a great place to advertise yourself. Link your portfolio or website to give employers easy access to your work. You can also put your email or any other contact information you feel comfortable sharing. A description of who you are and what you do is also important to include. It doesn’t need to be too crazy, just make sure it’s clean and easy to read on a quick glance.
Post pictures that subtly show off your hard and soft skills
Show teamwork skills by posting pics of you at a charity event or with a team at a fundraiser, or show off your organization skills with a picture of your latest desk setup. These are subtle ways to appeal to employers without posting a photo that just blatantly says hire me, I’m skilled!
Curate your feed with some kind of theme
Let’s face it, we are a generation where aesthetic counts. There’s nothing better than an Instagram feed that is organized and clean. You don’t have to go overboard with this one, but as a young professional you are your own brand, and your social media is a reflection of your brand. A clean feed will help translate who you are to an employer. Do something simple like picking one filter to apply to all your photos can make a big difference to the overall look.
Strike a balance between fun and work-related posts
There’s nothing wrong with posting a pic of you in an outfit you loved or from a cottage weekend with friends. Just make sure you’re also posting photos that represent your professional life in a favourable way. Take a photo of you networking at a work event, at your desk, or even a project you’re really proud of. If you have tangible work to show, whether graphic design, music, or writing, Instagram is a prime place to post it.
Make your profile a business profile
Practice those social media analytics skills by turning your profile into a business profile.This will help you keep track of engagement on your profile. It will also give your page a more professional look.
If you wouldn’t post it on LinkedIn, don’t post it on Instagram
This is a good rule of thumb if you’re unsure of what to post. It’s safe to say that photos you wouldn’t want your boss, parents, or co-workers to see shouldn’t be on our feed.
Unless that’s part of your brand…
Although you want your feed to be professional, consider the field you desire to work in or the brand you are trying to embody. If your dream is to one day own your own nightclub, definitely have photos of you being involved in that industry. In that case, photos of you going out are more appropriate than if you wanted to be a doctor.
Don’t want to give up your freedom? Go private – but be careful
If you want to let your Instagram be a place where you are free to express yourself as you wish, go private. I will say be careful, though: some large companies have bots that will follow your private account. So be careful when accepting follow requests.
The bottom line is that Instagram is your place to show who you are. Make use of this wonderful digital platform by posting meaningful, respectful, and fun content.