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Social Media: A Vehicle to Elevate or Annihilate Your Professional Brand and Image

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The 21s century has placed the world at our fingertips. At no other time in history has accessing information, globally, been as easy as the click of a button. Students of the Information Age, a time when harnessing information is commonplace, are technologically savvy when it comes to electronic and social media.

For Milliennials, the first generation to have only used cell phones, constant connectivity is of the utmost importance. Using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues, or checking on Foursquare has become second nature.

What has also become characteristic for many students is the trust and freedom to post personal information on social networking sites.  A Consumer Reports survey indicates that 52% of social networkers post risky information online. For those who have aspirations of career opportunities after college, remember this: anything on the internet is public information; and employers frequently make hiring decisions based on information from social networking site. Similarly, employees have been fired as a result of social networking sites.

In today’s competitive job market, an individual’s success depends largely on their ability to network and develop professional connections. Take care of what family and friends can post on your Facebook “wall.” Guard against questionable pictures. Your online image, if safeguarded, can serve to elevate your candidacy for that dream job after college!

Donnell Turner

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