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February 24, 2016
Graduating? How to clean up your social media accounts
By: Nicole Lange

You’ve had a great time at university. The proof is available for everyone to see in your social media accounts.

But now that you’re graduating and looking to launch your career, it’s time to consider just how much you’ve shared on social media over the last few years, as well as what new accounts you can establish to showcase your abilities.

Here are some tips to help:

Google yourself. What comes up? How does it reflect who you are now and your ambitions for the future? A self Google search will provide a roadmap for how much social media cleaning up you need to do. It’ll also provide a good indication of the privacy settings on your social media accounts that you’ll need to change. You may find long, lost blogs you want to delete, or even long-forgotten accounts on networks like Tumblr, Reddit and Instagram that you no longer use.

Check your social media privacy settings. Some social media accounts, such as Facebook, should reflect your personality and activities outside of work. There’s no need to go in and delete photos and posts (although that may in some cases be necessary) but if you don’t want to mix the personal with the professional and have anyone able to access what you did over the weekend, then adjust your account privacy settings.

Establish/Edit your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the number one social network for professionals. So set up your account (if you haven’t already) or edit and tidy up the account you already have to reflect your new status as a graduate. Start thinking about how you’re going to build your online network on LinkedIn, and what types of articles you can share and comment on. Aim to be professional, and add value to the lives and careers of others through your updates.

Check out your new employer’s social media policy. If you’re active with your opinions on social media, particularly on Twitter, you should check in with your company’s social media policy to find out what you can and can’t do publicly on social media as an employee.

Establish a personal ‘social media strategy’. Who will you friend on Facebook or follow on Twitter? Will you censor or voice your opinions on major issues in the future? Now’s the time to set your own parameters on social media and to stick to them. Colleagues and contacts can become friends, and you may want to add them as Facebook friends during your career. Meanwhile, you may want to be remain or become vocal about your (sensible) opinions on blogs and Twitter. So where will you draw the line? How will you change your behaviour on social media accounts to accommodate the potential blurring of work and life?

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