How To Not Let Social Media Destroy Your Career

And build a better online presence.

Let's face it, social media is awesome.

Whether we're sending a snap, sharing a tweet or posting a video, social media keeps us informed about the world, connected with family and friends and records our everyday moments -- some of which we'd rather forget. (Hello, Friday night drinks!!)

But you might be surprised to learn that all that tweeting, posting and liking could be preventing you from getting that dream job or promotion you've been waiting for. Even worse, it could even cost you your job.

Don't let a fun night out ruin your career prospects. Image: Getty.

Professor Arne Krokan, a social media expert at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, told HuffPost there are many ways social media could be affecting your career -- and it's not always favourable.  

“It is like water on a porous surface --  it is difficult to wipe it away once you’ve spilled something. It is almost impossible to keep control of content once it is published online," Professor Krokan said.

“This can be good for building a "personal brand" online, but may affect those who change their behaviour, opinions or political positions over time and have old or contradictory content retrieved.”

In a world that's overrun by technology and social media, it's easy to find yourself taking part in online activities that expose parts of your personality you'd prefer to keep private -- and not considering the professional repercussions could prove disastrous.

Thankfully, you don't have to become a social media hermit altogether.

Ashley Stahl, a career coach who specialises in providing guidance to millennials, recently told Forbes there are indeed ways to make your online presence work in your favour and not lead you to the unemployment line.

Here are three of Ashley's key tips to know.

Create a strong presence

While it might take a bit of time, it pays to go through your accounts and delete any old pictures from days when it didn't matter if you partied all night and rolled into work wearing yesterday's clothes.

"Start by Googling yourself, and removing any information you consider detrimental," Stahl advised. This could be as simple as reaching out to site hosts and asking them to take the information down.

Then create a presence which reflects who you are now, Depending on your interests, this should be consistent across all of your social media accounts.

Use social media to network

In an increasingly digital world, social media is no longer just a place to catch up with friends and share pictures of dogs being surprised at their owners seemingly disappearing behind a falling sheet.

As Stahl explained, sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and even Instagram are a great platform to connect with like-minded individuals and potential business connections.

"Research them and shoot them a direct message -- you never know if someone will be your next big connection," she said.

Be aware, and be smart

One of the key messages that Stahl mentioned was that your online presence is more viable than you may realise. Despite what you might think, you have no control over who screenshots your posts.

"Even posts you consider fleeting, such as your Snapchat and Instagram stories, can (and will) be found by a potential hiring manager who digs hard enough," she said.

In short, just be smart about what you post, peeps!

Feature image: Columbia Pictures.