Whether you’re applying to colleges or interviewing for your first post-graduate job, it’s important to maintain a professional image on your applications, during interviews and even on social media. We’ve warned students that admissions officers and hiring managers alike oftentimes look at Facebook or Twitter profiles to get a more accurate picture of a candidate. Sometimes, a tweet or Snapchat post could be the difference between securing the internship of your dreams and losing it. Just ask Naomi H. of @NaomiH_official. In August, Naomi landed a prestigious internship with NASA; and in her excitement, she tweeted about the opportunity. Unfortunately, her tweet featured a very big curse word, according to People.In response, a user by the name of Homer Hickam, former NASA engineer and the inspiration behind the movie “October Sky,” tweeted “Language” under her post. But Naomi pushed the envelope even further by tweeting back that he should mind his own business, only with more vulgar terms. Just a few days later, Naomi found out that she had lost the internship with NASA. Hickam told Newsweek that he did nothing to get the young woman fired. In fact, he was working to find her another highly coveted position in the aerospace industry after Naomi issued an apology to Hickam. He claims it will be “better than the one she lost,” according to Newsweek.Thanks to @NaomiH_official, we’ve all learned a valuable lesson. 1. Keep your social media accounts professional. Whatever version of yourself you want to display to an admissions committee or hiring recruiter, be that version on social media. Furthermore, use your social media to your advantage during the job search. Follow companies you’re interested in working for and post articles that provide an in-depth look into the industry. 2. Or keep them private. If you do want to post whatever you want, when you want, then consider making all of your social media profiles private. That way, you can be the real you without having to worry about the consequences that a post or comment may have on your college and job prospects.3. If you do mess up, offer an apology. Real life oftentimes requires some humility. If you do cross a line in a job interview or as an employee, it’s important to admit to your mistakes and offer an apology. Essentially, the learning doesn’t stop after you graduate. There is still plenty to navigate and room to grow. 4. Know how to network. Don’t be afraid to develop relationships with older co-workers or professionals in the industry you want to see yourself in someday. Those individuals can be invaluable to helping you develop professionally and helping you along your career path.
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