Un-Social Media

These days everybody is on social media, aspiring law students among them. The advantages of platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for OULS students are plentiful, such as the chance to network with fellow students, keep up to date on developments in the industry and gain insight that could help you land your ideal career. However social media and privacy don’t always marry up as well as we’d like, and sometimes it stares back!

Whilst we have all posted one or two cringe worthy statuses in our time, or been tagged into an embarrassing photo from some wild night out, it is worth keeping an eye on the content that is being shared.  Even top barristers get caught out with their tweets and statuses. So here are some tips for OULS members.

Be careful what you post

This one may sound obvious, but even if your profile is set to private, be careful what you post. Off colour comments between friends may get a laugh, but should such comments get out into the wider world they could paint you in a negative light. Whilst we are sure OULS members would never intentionally be offensive in any way, it’s best to administer the grandmother test!

‘Would this be something I would say to somebody’s grandmother?’

If not, think again about posting (FYI we do not recommend the ‘dirty old uncle’ test as this tends to produce the opposite effect)!

Don’t exaggerate

Everybody may be guilty of a little embellishment on their CV, but there can be real repercussions for claiming to be something you’re not. When it comes to social media, especially on sites such as LinkedIn, the temptation may be to stretch the truth of your achievements but we advise against it. With that said however, LinkedIn is a perfect place to show off your experience, awards and enthusiasm for law in a way your CV can’t. By participating in conversation, sharing articles and publishing your results and achievements, prospective employers will take notice and it will give more weight to your CV claim of being ‘really interested in law’!

Keep your finger on the pulse

Social media can be a great source of information. A wealth of up to date news and developments are shared on firms Facebook pages and LinkedIn. Real time opinions and accounts of people in the legal industry can be found on Twitter. By following the right people and getting involved in the conversation, you gain access to useful knowledge for your studies, as well as getting noticed.

If you don’t know where to look, here are some Twiitter profiles that we recommend;

  • The Open University Law Society@OULawSoc

Remember, Social Media can be fun and engaging, but just be careful about what you post! Remember, grandma’s use Facebook too!

Written by:

Joe Beet – OULS News Reporter

Joe Beet

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