Ask a Recruiter...
This month, our recruiters are especially busy match-making for you lovely lot (some great Freelance opportunities are currently available in both Creative and Account Management), so we’ve enlisted the help of Kandice, our resident social media whiz, to answer this month’s question: How should I position my social media pages? Personal or professional?
Kandice’s top tip is: if you don’t plan on keeping it at least semi-related to your profession, keep it private.
Allowing the public access to your pages means running the risk of your posts reaching people you never intended them to. Posting that boomerang of you and your BFF’s stealing a traffic cone at 3 am is fine, but if your current and potential employers happen to come across it, they could potentially judge you negatively, so it’s best they remain none the wiser to your out-of-office antics.
You may work in a chilled-out office now but remember—deleting something does not necessarily erase its existence from the world wide web completely after you’ve originally posted it, and your next employer may not be so carefree.
It’s no secret that employers will look at your social platforms to get a better feel of who you are, and including your handles in your portfolio is common practice. So you should, therefore, remember that they will also take what they find into consideration when hiring you; so if your profiles are open for all to see it’s advisable to audit them, even if you don’t aim to make them completely work-focused. Ensure they contain no language or subject matter that could harm your chances of employment.
No matter how chilled they are, no company will hire somebody who may put them in a compromising situation.
Most people prefer to keep their social media’s private, and reserve access to their selfies and holiday snaps solely for friends, but gearing your online platforms towards a professional audience, through just a slight shift in content, can greatly benefit your career especially for those working in digital and creative sectors, where it’s almost essential. The trick is to find a happy medium between both.
Don’t post anything online that you will be embarrassed to talk about with acquaintances in person
Stick to images which aren’t deeply personal but also aren’t just a reshare of your portfolio; this should be easy if you’re genuinely passionate about your sector as aspects of it will naturally find its way into your day to day life and subsequently onto your platforms.
Share evidence of your passion for the sector and your continued learning
It’s nice for potential employers to get a sense of your personality when they do inevitably look at your accounts, so freely post your hobbies and interests: the art exhibitions or shows you attend and any random object that inspires you; this shows you have a true interest in your sector and are continually learning. On Twitter follow and engage with your peers and those whom you admire, Twitter is a great way to stay up to date with sector news, show off your knowledge and become a leader of thought within your industry, which can quite often lead to business opportunities.
Privacy controls were made for this exact reason
You don’t have to go into lockdown or completely rebrand yourself because on each channel, there are numerous ways to edit your privacy to a level you feel most comfortable with. Facebook has the most privacy options available, allowing you to change who sees each of your posts on a post by post basis. You can also keep your overall profile limited or private to certain people (even if they’re already your Facebook friend). Instagram allows you to hide your “stories” from certain people so you can contain all personal updates to that arena. Snapchat lets you decide if only friends should be able to see your Snapchat story or send you snaps, and on Twitter, you can block people completely who may misinterpret your tweets.
If you still struggling to choose between a professional or personal online persona, your best option may be separate them completely by reserving one platform for personal updates or having multiple accounts on the same platform, but for different audiences. The one for strictly professional purposes can be open and included in your CV and portfolio. LinkedIn is the platform that lends itself best to career-focused updates so set that up whilst keeping creating a second public Instagram account that showcases your work and other career-focused content.
Ultimately the decision is all yours, and it all comes down to what you feel comfortable sharing, you may not want to use your social media platforms to boost your career but don’t let them damage it either. How you present yourself online is linked back to the offline you so be conscious with your uploads!
If you have any questions you’d like us to answer in our Ask the Recruiter series tweet us or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to check out our jobs board whilst you’re here, are small there are loads of new opportunities to work with some of the industry’s hottest agencies in sectors including creative, client services, strategy, business development and more.