Presenting Yourself on Instagram Professionally
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” This saying has been around for many years. Now, living in a social networking world, this saying is truer than ever. Instagram is a platform of telling stories through pictures, so ask yourself, “What story am I telling others?”
Whether it’s a school you’re applying to, a job you are applying for, or a new friend you made, one of the first things someone does when they want to get to know you better is look at your social networks.
Everything you post and comment on is part of what people will know about you and shape their perception of you.
Of course, it’s important to be your authentic self, but always be mindful. Once something is online it’s out there for everyone to see, so take control of the narrative your Instagram tells.
Here are a few areas to think about when it comes to your Instagram page.
Your profile basics are the first impression: your handle, picture, and bio. Your handle is usually one of the first things someone notices about your Instagram. Would you be embarrassed if you had to give your future employer your current Instagram handle? What about the first picture they see? You don’t need a fancy headshot or a non-creative handle, but do make sure to have a clear, tasteful photo along with an appropriate handle.
A good rule of thumb is if you don’t want your mom seeing it, you probably shouldn’t post it. Like most people, pretty much everything I do, I post on Instagram. So keep posting your fun food pics, travel snapshots, and hangouts with your friends. Just be mindful that your future employer can potentially see any of your posts. Remember that your picture is telling the story, so avoid posting things that look like you are an extreme partier or participating in an irresponsible act. Even though that may not be what you were doing, all someone has is your picture.
In addition to your photos are your captions. Something you say today will be there for years to come, so avoid using any profane or distasteful words in your captions.
Are you leaving comments on other posts that are uplifting, tasteful, and positive? All the interactions you participate in on Instagram are out there for anyone to see. Avoid making harsh or crass comments because that too will shape someone’s opinion of you.