by Tyler Hicks
(Featured image courtesy of Work in Sports)
“I don’t know about this one…it makes me look weird.”
The year was 2007. MySpace was dead and buried, Facebook was rising in popularity every day, and I was a high school freshman. Using a camera he received as a gift from Santa the previous year, my brother and I took turns snapping potential profile pictures of each other against the backdrop of my Alex Rodriguez poster. A boy-girl dance was coming up the next weekend, and there was no way I was going into that without a solid Facebook profile and picture.
“It’s fine; you look normal,” my brother, Spenser, insisted.
“No, no, just one more.”
This past week, I had that familiar, dreadful feeling of social media anxiety yet again, but this time the stakes were much higher. The Mayborn was hosting its annual career and internship fair. That fearful “real world” is on the horizon yet again, and like my fellow upcoming graduates, I’m eager to secure employment before wrapping up grad school.
This time, I wasn’t worried about looking good in a profile pic — I was worried about everything I’ve said on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and everywhere else online. I never post anything inappropriate, racist, sexist, or offensive on any of my social media profiles, but nevertheless, I know that employers routinely check the profiles of their potential employees, and was fearful that some of my anti-Trump jokes or dog meme sharing would come across as unprofessional.
I mainly worried about what I hadn’t written on my platforms. What was I missing, and what did I foolishly write off as unimportant — like my Twitter bio, perhaps? I know that most employers have an unspoken list of things that their employees can and will not do or say on social media, and some even have formal policy devoted to this issue, but do employers in our field have a list of things that they expect from their employees? Most definitely, and that’s what worries me more than anything.
After all, how can a social media or public relations agency entrust me with client work when my platforms are lacking? That’s why courses like this are important, yet this can’t be the end-all, be-all. Having relevant, creative, and engaging social media platforms is a never-ending marathon, and in order to win that dream job in this industry, I have to rededicate myself to making sure my profiles are as professional and creative as possible at all times.
Next week, I’ll delve into the steps I’ll be taking throughout this marathon.
Chamlee, V. (2016, August 22). Chipotle Employees Are Now Free to Complain on Twitter. Retrieved October 09, 2016, from http://www.eater.com/2016/8/22/12584750/chipotle-workers-fired-twitter-social-media-policy
Lowe, H. (2012, September 07). How to write a Twitter bio that’ll make you stand out as a journalist. Retrieved October 09, 2016, from http://www.poynter.org/2012/how-to-write-a-twesume-aka-twitter-bio-thatll-make-you-stand-out-as-a-journalist/187145/
Smith, J. (2013, April 16). How Social Media Can Help (Or Hurt) You In Your Job Search. Retrieved October 09, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/16/how-social-media-can-help-or-hurt-your-job-search/#77144a424fdb