I first joined the social media world when I was 14 and a freshman in high school. So looking back, a lot of my Facebook statuses said stuff like: “going to bedd. 2 much on my mindd,” “I luv my besties” and “marching band suxx.” I was an opinionated 14 year old and definitely loved letting the world know my every thought. Now, I cringe whenever I look back at anything I posted even a year back. Seven years ago, social media was a way for me to post all day, everyday about my teenager crisis I thought I had but now social media is not about posting my feelings but letting everyone know who I am as a person and a professional. Branding, if you will.
The easy way of protecting your social media from future employers is to make everything private. This way you can tweet about cute puppies or post an Instagram picture on a night out without feeling guilty. But when looking for a job in the social media profession it is important that all your sites reflect your passions, your thoughts and your character. Instead of hiding all you networks why not use your them as a way that will benefit you as a professional?
Recently I applied for an internship at an agency in OKC and one of the requirements was to send in your social media usernames. I panicked. Was my cover photo of Lauren Conrad drinking champagne acceptable? Are the pictures of my friends and me in Uptown too risky? It made me reevaluate my whole presence in social media. I knew companies looked at LinkedIn and Facebook to get a feel for a future employer but I never thought that my tweet about “21 and having fun” could be looked at by someone besides my followers on Twitter
It is important to once in awhile look through your tweets and Instagram pictures and clean it up a little. It doesn’t hurt to delete tweets from a night out or a picture that does you no good. Although cleaning up your social media may feel like trying to cover up who you are, you should never take yourself completely out of it. Keep your spunky captions but also add pictures of professional accomplishments. Keep your tweets about your love for OU football, but make sure to retweet and talk about important issues going on in the world and/or your industry.
We live in a world where social media has a bigger impact on how people see us than how a resume reflects who we are. Never lose sense of who you are as a person, have fun with what you post but always remember that social media has the power to influence your professional life.