Social media advice from a professional

STAR // Shane Bickford

One-third of employers will pass on a candidate because of poor grammar skills used online.
Krista Neher came to Sonoma State University to give a seminar on social media use. A native Canadian, Krista starts the seminar off with an apology for the words she will surely mispronounce. She informs students that a great way to avoid a ticket is to claim you’re Canadian and don’t understand American laws.
All jokes aside, Neher had plenty of valuable information for students based on her eight-year career. Neher’s seminar focused on how students can make their online selves look more professional in order to secure a job.
She commented how students represent themselves on Instagram.
“If your Instagram is full of bikini pictures, alcohol and pictures at the club, out of context when people see that this is how you’re choosing to represent yourself, they may find it inappropriate,” said Neher.
Neher mentioned that individuals have been fired from ranting about their job on Facebook.
“We are all entitled to our opinions, but we’re not free from the implications of those opinions,”  said Neher.
She tells the audience how important it is to know their Facebook profile settings.
Another piece of advice she has is doing regular Google searches on one’s name and check their own Facebook regulary. Neher suggests locking down personal profiles and creating secondary, more professional profiles that employers are more likely to see.
“You can control what people see if you create public profiles that make you look smart, professional and friendly. You can control a lot more of what people think about you,” said Neher.
Her best piece of advice, however, is to create a LinkedIn profile. ninety-five percent of job recruiters will go directly to LinkedIn to look up a candidate. She suggests students should start working on their profiles now rather than scrambling to get it done when they start applying for jobs. Neher acknowledges that a lot of people struggle with old profiles that they no longer have access to. Her advice in these situations is to build new content that will push those profiles down the page on Google search.
LinkedIn is typically one of the first search results you will see on Google along with a personal website. She suggests also creating an about.me account and a slideshare.com profile.
A lot of students found Neher’s advice to be new information, especially when it comes to making social media accounts professional.
“I’ve always viewed social media as something that’s detrimental to yourself, but it can be used as a tool to build up a better persona professionally,” said freshman Taya Andrade.
Most college students don’t think about owning their own website. For roughly $10 a month, students can maintain a website dedicated to themselves. It’s something they will have forever and can be a valuable tool when applying for jobs.
“[I learned] to build a professional website and use the type of social media to build yourself as a smart professional,” said freshamn Samantha Noriega. “I didn’t know people could use social media as a tool.”
Neher gave students some life advice as the seminar drew near the end. “Do better than just not sucking” said Neher.