Because of social media, for many people a first impression happens without you physically being there.
In fact, your first impression can happen with a click of a button. In this digital age, manners now apply everywhere, Humber experts say.
Hip hop artist Kanye West’s latest twitter rant against Canadian DJ Deadmau5 is an example of how sometimes it’s best to keep our comments to ourselves.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday West mocked Deadmau5’s signature mask likening him to a children entertainer, Mickie Mouse.
Do you do birthday parties?? My daughter loves Minnie mouse…
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) March 2, 2016
While West can get away with some – or even a lot – of his behaviour, experts caution that whatever gets posted online can live forever and be a liability at times, for instance when you are looking for work.
Here are a few tips on the best online etiquette from Humber experts.
Don’t be a negative Nancy
Allison Scully, Humber’s Social Media and Online Resource Developer, says to refrain from typing out negative thoughts as many employers go onto online profiles to get a feel of who you are and learn more about you.
“It’s not just about if you tweeted anything bad about their company but a lot of times they want to see what your online persona is. If you’re a negative person on Twitter they may think that you might be like that at work.”
Scully says that companies often want to hire candidates who are a strong representation of their brand.
Today many employers want to see what their aspiring employees are capable of and Humber Career Advisor Christine Colosimo says it’s important for students to reflect what their passionate about on their platforms.
“Focus on a lot of personal strengths and technical skills. I believe in figuring that out and understanding what your personal brand is, working towards it and living it. I’m all about about the strengths people have and promoting that because that’s powerful whether it’s online or in person, it’s a representation of your life.”
Don’t share everything
When it comes to sharing articles and posts on Facebook or re-tweeting things on Twitter, Scully says although it’s important to show you’re up to date with current events, sometimes it is best to take a step back on controversial topics.
“News that causes controversy is something you may want to stay away from because some companies may believe that these are your beliefs as well.”
Don’t feel the need to friend everyone
Adding co-workers on social media isn’t something everyone is comfortable with and Scully suggests that one shouldn’t and doesn’t have to.
“If they find you, you don’t have to accept. Next time you see them explain that you just connect with your friends and you want to keep your work life separate.”
It’s never too late to take a step back
“The good thing about social media is that it’s never too late. You can go and delete comments but everything on the Internet is permanent. Unless they are a high tech company then it’s trickier to access it,” says Scully.
She also recommends changing privacy settings once a month to ensure one continues to have control of who views ones post.
Steer in the avenue of your interest
Colosimo says whatever you’re is passionate about your online presence should emphasize it.
“Focus on the avenue that you’re shooting for and if that is what you’re doing, embrace it!” Colosimo adds that a strong online presence in your niche positively speaks to employers in your field of interest.
Have a professional profile picture
You don’t need a high tech camera to take an HD photo because so many of our mobile devices have a decent quality camera. Professional profile pictures can be taken in the palm of your hands but Colosimo says to avoid this digital trend.
“Keep it simple and no selfies! Having a profile picture is key because online presence is important.”