Social media presents an interesting conundrum for students these days. On the one hand, it's easier than ever to network and get to know potential employers. On the other hand, so much of what is posted in social networks like Facebook can be hard to control. A recent article in the New York Times reported that employers are beginning to use new tools to perform a sort of digital background check on potential employees, so it's important for students to keep a few guidelines in mind when interacting with social media. The blog Parents Countdown to College spoke to Gen Y blogger Adam Britten to get 5 tips for students:
1. Don't be afraid to try new things.
New social platforms are popping up right and left. Don't be afraid to take new networks like Google+ on a test drive.
2. Be aware of your audience.
If you're using social networks to get in touch with potential employers, don't forget that they can find any of the information you put out on the web. Even if you protect your tweets or have tight facebook privacy settings, it's possible for people to take a screenshot of something you've published. People have lost their jobs because of inappropriate tweets or comments (does Anthony Weiner ring a bell?), don't risk becoming one of them.
3. Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation.
It's important to be careful with social media, but don't lose sight of the fact that it's an incredible way to network with people whose work you're interested in.
4. Use clear language and mind your Ps and Qs.
Make sure that the language you are using is clear and well-written. Avoid grammar and spelling mistakes as much as possible.
5. Publicize your online presence.
If you have an online presence, use it to make your resume stand out to future employers. Add a link to your blog, twitter, facebook, etc. on your resume or application if you've spent time building your presence on the internet.
Do you have any social media tips to share with our readers?