Tips for Being Professional on Social Media


Social media has increasingly become the place to search for new opportunities. You can see opportunities being advertised through employer pages, university pages and personalised adverts, for example. This has meant that colleges and universities are increasing their presence online through social media platforms.

Knowing this, you can use this to your advantage by researching potential employers or universities and for promoting yourself on social media platforms too. So now more than ever, it is really important to be mindful of what you post on social media as this may negatively impact your future if it’s not done correctly.

Activity 1

Have a think about how many different social media platforms you currently have an account for and write them down below.

You may have some you use on a daily basis and some you don’t use at all but have signed up to, include them all.

Now think about how you may be portrayed if a future employer just saw your profile, or bio on Instagram for example. Is there anything on there that may put you off hiring yourself just from the first glance?

Top Tips for Social Media

We understand everybody uses social media for different purposes so we’ve put together a handy list of things that we think you should consider about social media.

  • Keep on top of your privacy settings on all of your platforms. This may be limiting who can see your profile, limiting who can see the photos you post or who can add your profile.
  • If you have a social media platform you no longer use, consider deleting your profile. It may still contain your personal information, which is then easily accessible to people. Also you may have created a profile when you were younger and this might not be inappropriate if a prospective employer found it.
  • Always make sure the content you post is appropriate. Avoid posting inappropriate images or using inappropriate language.
  • On some social media platforms you can see what a profile has liked or shared. Even if you didn’t write the original post, but liked or shared the post, this will still show your standpoint about a topic. If this was about something extreme or inappropriate, this may get you into some deep waters so always consider what you are engaging with on.
  • The way you present yourself on social media can be really important especially as employers are using profiles to scope out potential candidates. Even if you don’t use your social media profile for your professional self, it may be worth creating a personal and professional profiles to keep them separate. Alternatively, you can adjusted your privacy settings to only share
    your posts with friends and family.
  • Some people don’t like to have any social media profiles at all to decrease their digital footprint and avoid any risks against their privacy. However social media platforms can be a great tool to show future employers or universities your best self, like an online CV. Using platforms such as Twitter or LinkedIn can be a great way to stand out from your peers. You can use it to post, share and interact with subject you are interested in. Use this to your advantage!

Activity 2

Read through the questions below and reflect on how you may already use social media.

  1. Describe how you engage with social media platforms and what do you do on these platforms, e.g., do you post photos, keep up do date with news or key topics, or do you not engage much at all.
  2. How might the different ways you use social media impact your education or job prospects, both positively and negatively?
  3. Identify 3 of the top tips above that may help to improve your online presence and explain why you have chosen them, e.g., update privacy settings so only family and friends can see my activity.