The Rules of Social Networking


By Emma McAnaw

It seems as though every other day our parents or professors are telling us to monitor our social media, and to make sure everything is appropriate. But let's be honest, none of us do. You can’t go online over the weekend without witnessing dozens of drunken adventures. While you're in college and have an excuse to be irresponsible, this all seems like a good idea. But it’s going to be a major issue when you’re applying for a job, and the first thing the employer sees is your last tweet about how blackout drunk you were the night before. You don’t need to present yourself online as someone who would rather study all night than drink (because no one will believe you), but you should consider what future employers will think when looking at your social media. So go out and make those mistakes, just don't put them online. And follow these tips to make your sites employer-appropriate.

1. Destroy all Evidence of Freshman Mistakes: As a freshman, it seems the only way to prove to all your high school friends that you’re having fun at college is posting as many embarrassingly drunk pictures of yourself on Facebook as possible. As fun as it was publicizing the fact that you’ve turned into a borderline alcoholic in the course of a semester, these pictures are going to hurt you in the long run. Your employer is not going to be impressed by your ability to hold yourself up during a keg stand. Not to mention I almost guarantee every freshman girl has pictures of her dressed only in a tank top worn as a dress. Dont put yourself through the trauma of knowing your boss has seen part of your ass. But suck it up and relive those embarrassing freshman nights out and while deleting all evidence. Possible employers now don’t have to know about the time you locked yourself in a frat bathroom, and you can actually be hired.

2. No Pot, No Exceptions: We get it, you’re so damn hipster with pictures of you blowing smoke into the camera. Too bad no one wants to hire a pothead —even fellow smokers. I know it’s really exciting that you just bought a bowl in the shape of an animal, but the world doesn’t need to know. Advertising the fact that you smoke will only make you look irresponsible and unreliable. One trace of evidence that you smoke will lead to a possible employer deciding not to hire you; probably due to the fear that you’ll show up to work stoned and eat out the entire office kitchen. When taking pictures, make sure there aren’t any smoking devices in sight. Believe me, “Barack Obonga” does not need to make a public appearance.

3. Keep it PG-13: I don’t care if you’re on your way to becoming a Victoria Secret Angel, keep your clothes on in pictures. There’s only one place someone should see you in your bra, and a hint, it’s not online. And nobody needs to see you dancing half-naked in a crowded basement when they Google your name. If you do, then you’re probably looking for a job that Syracuse University doesn’t train you for. Leave something to the imagination for you followers/friends, and nothing to ponder at all for your boss (because that’s just creepy).

4. Keep Drinking Discreet: Yes, it’s fun to piece together the party from the night before by looking at your drunk photos. It’s important, though to set boundaries for yourself. If you’re underage, it’s a good idea to blur out beer cans or only take pictures with cups. The at least it's less obvious you were well beyond tipsy while snapping that selfie. Acting like you’re striving to be the next Ke$ha is not only horrible for employers to see, but is also viewed as extremely unattractive. So if it looks obvious that you don’t even remember taking that picture, or if you made several drunk tweets/statuses, delete immediately.

5. Be a Decent Human: I’m not saying pretend to go to every charity event, or be part of every school organization, because that comes off as fake. But employers who look you up through social media would be impressed to see you exhibiting your (appropriate) interests and school involvement. No one is going to hire someone who thinks the most interesting thing about them is that they can out drink all their friends. Use social media to show off your accomplishments, like published work or plans for summer internships. Also put your past employments, education, and learned languages in your profile information. This will at least give employers the impression that you’re a functional adult.