Editorial | Stay conscious of your image on social media

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

You went out to a bar this weekend and got a little wild with your friends from class. This morning, someone texted you a photo and you’re tempted to share it. Should you?

The Daily Illini Editorial Board encourages students to consider, at the very least, what’s already posted on their social media accounts and to factor that in for the future. It may not matter as much now, but all of us are only a few years away from the professional world. It’s wholly better to be conscious of this now rather than later, when an actual job depends on it.

Companies looking for new employees thoroughly and frequently check social media accounts; they often check if the potential employee fits into the specific brand or image the company represents. Whether you agree or not, it’s still in your best interest to delete those old tweets and posts you made during middle school, high school and possibly last month.

Here at the University, students are ambitious. It’s no secret we’re known globally as a top research university, and many graduates go on to achieve great things. Competition between students is fierce, academics are rigorous and starting a successful career path is everyone’s goal. Keep in mind, though, there are hundreds of thousands of students with similar goals who are studying the same subjects worldwide. Whatever dirt your employer may find on you only means they’ll hire the next person in line.

Use the age-old rule your high school teachers, parents and professors have undoubtedly told you: Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a job recruiter or your grandma to see.

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    Don’t let a stupid or irresponsible post ruin your chances or soil your reputation.

    Go through your social media accounts, and get rid of things you wouldn’t want companies to see. People make mistakes, and a career is worth much more than a careless post.

    The same suggestion goes for recent posts. Would your future employer like that photo of you at KAM’s? Or that video of you shotgunning a beer at a party? Probably not.

    Your actions matter, regardless of where you are or who you’re with. You never know who might be taking a video or a photo when you’re acting out or being more reckless than usual. A simple Google search tells us a lot about ourselves. There’s no harm in looking yourself up every once in awhile, just to see what might turn up.

    Don’t jeopardize your goals or your future for a couple likes or retweets, and don’t be that person who posts something that hurts someone else’s reputation. We’re all just trying to get a job, at the end of the day. We shouldn’t allow our social media to jeopardize that opportunity.