By Jordan Davidson |

What you publish online can make or break your future.

Just this week, Anheuser-Busch dropped their ties with Carson King, a college student who donated money to charity after going viral with a sign requesting beer money on ESPN’s “College Gameday.” Anheuser-Busch made the decision to remove their association with King after racist posts from his high school days were discovered on his social media.

Although everyone should be conscious of how they are presenting themselves on the internet, it is especially crucial for college students to exercise caution and take care of what we post on our social media because our future employer will probably see it.

I’m a senior which means, like many of my peers, I am currently suffering from a severe case of senioritis. The scary and exciting feeling of coming up on graduation is overwhelming, but captioning a photo with “seniors kick a**” as a display of some serious pre-graduation angst may not be the best move.

In fact, posting edgy pics and profanity-filled captions probably won’t help your chances of getting hired at your dream company after graduation.

According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, over 70% of employers research the social media profiles of their applicants during the hiring process. After reviewing their potential hires’ applications, 40% of employers turned down any candidate that posted “provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos, or information.” On top of that 36% of employers rejected a candidate when they included pictures and videos of them drinking alcohol or using drugs

As noble as it may seem to share every one of your fun experiences with your social media followers, it is simply unnecessary and it can actually harm your chances of fulfilling your post-graduation aspirations. 

Even though your account may be on private, you never know who is viewing your content. Your potential employer may not be able to see your finsta account or tagged photos from last weekend, but any one of your other followers can still screenshot and send your content to anyone in a split second. 

Now, I’m not saying that you should turn your aesthetic Instagram page into a LinkedIn profile with stuffy suit pictures and an updated resumé, but try to ask yourself whether or not your next post is something that might hurt your chances of employment.

A lot of people say “dress for the job you want,” but I say post for the job you want.

There is a classy way to showcase your interests and talents while still having fun and sharing your stories and experiences.  For example, I love posting about my sorority’s social events like formal and paint crush. But before I share these experiences with my followers, I evaluate the pictures and make sure that there is nothing depicted that might reflect poorly on my character. I choose to take and post pictures that showcase me and my friends in a positive but still lighthearted way.

The truth is, posts leave a lasting digital fingerprint on the world that can’t be erased. Social media is just a glance of who you are, so use it to your advantage. Post the best parts of your life that truly reflect your solid character. You shouldn’t be afraid to share what’s going on in your life, but use discernment in what you publish online.

If you wouldn’t show it to your parents, your pastors, and your professors, then your future employer probably doesn’t want to see it either.