May is always a happy, proud time of the year for me, as my second-year graduate students from the Annenberg School at USC’s Communication Management program leave school with their master’s degrees.
The grads are justifiably proud and start plastering photos of themselves in full graduation regalia on social media. They’ve earned those bragging rights. Two years of hard work have paid off with an advanced degree from a prestigious university. The world should know – prospective employers included – that they have what it takes to get through grad school and are ready to prove themselves, again, in the work force.
While it’s great to show off your achievement to your friends and family on Instagram and Facebook, I would strongly advise not replacing your profile photo on LinkedIn – as I have seen so many do – with that cap and gown photo your parents took on graduation day.
To the graduate, that photo not only captures a magical moment, but tells the world that “I’m smart capable of taking on tough tasks and delivering great work. But what are communicating to potential employers? It might be that they look at that photo and see “young, naïve and inexperienced.”
Below are some random photos I took from the web. Not to be a killjoy here, but which set of people would you rather hire? Who looks more mature, professional and competent?
Let me know what you think.