Online Etiquette Tips

Net-Etiquette-shutterstock_92418931Our lives are like the movie The Truman Show–everyone is constantly watching us. Okay, not always, but with the social media boom of Twitter, Facebook, and of course e-mail, people have the ability to watch others easily.

This is the case for our future employers, Edsters. We have all been told to keep an eye on our Facebook page, what we tweet and Instagram, and how we come off via e-mail to others. It is important to watch what we do on social media because in the end, you may not have a job because of it. Here are some helpful tips on proper social media and e-mail etiquette!

Social Media:

Facebook and Twitter:
We’re all addicted, even our grandparents. Especially being a college student, it is easy to let a picture be posted that contains red solo cups or beer cans. Sometimes, even a bad wall post or tweet can happen. Here are some things you can do to avoid bad Facebook and Twitter etiquette:

1. Don’t have any illegal activity
If you’re underage and have a red solo cup in a picture, it is a red flag for employers. You could always argue, “You don’t know what’s in the cup,” but we all know. I suggest you go through your FB photos and just untag yourself from the pictures that contain illegal activity. It’ll only benefit you in the end! For Twitter, read through all of your tweets and delete the unnecessary ones. Have Tweets that have purpose and reflect your personality and thoughts.

2. Privacy Settings
Change them! My FB profile is on private, which ultimately makes me feel safe in the end. This way, you can make certain things public to others, like major accomplishments, blogs you post, or videos you share that mean something to a possible employer. Set your Twitter on private if you feel the need to as well.

3. No Negative Content
Please, don’t do this. Don’t mouth off any employers or friends or anything! (Aka, no subtweeting!) If you have a problem, take it up with that individual directly. No prospective employer wants to see this.

E-mails can sometimes seem like a text message, but I like to think of them as a professional text message. I cannot tell you how many times my professors have called out students for e-mailing teachers and AI’s in an unprofessional way. Here’s some helpful tips that you can use while e-mailing teachers, future employers, and even family and friends:

1. The Subject Line
Never leave the subject line blank. When people check their e-mails, the subject line is the first thing that they see. Have a clear and direct subject line that tells the receiver of the e-mail what it is about.

2. Dear (insert here),
Start off the e-mail with the person’s professional name, like “Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., etc. Never use a person’s first name. Using the person’s first name makes the e-mail seem informal and makes you seem sloppy.

3. Keep It Brief
Do not write an essay for your e-mail! Keep it short and to the point. This way, you will come off as someone who knows what they want and you won’t waste anyone’s time.

4. Sincerely,
Always have an ending. Simple ones are sincerely, from, thank you, etc. Once you do this, sign your full name, not just your first name!

Want to learn a bit more? Here’s an article Real Simple posted about social media etiquette!

-Hannah Lavine