When you’re a viable candidate for a job, don’t think for one second that your employer won’t jump onto your Twitter profile to see what you’re all about. Your timeline is just an extension of your inner thoughts and beliefs and is a very good barometer for what a potential employee is actually like.
It’d be silly to assume that everyone is the same person in and outside of work but social media does affect first impressions. Especially now everybody Googles each other prior to meeting.
If you’re currently on the job hunt, here are six questions you need to ask yourself about your Twitter profile.
1. Is it worth opening a second Twitter profile?
You might not want to sacrifice your ability to drunkenly wax poetic about your feelings on lonely Saturday nights online. And that’s alright. While it’s probably inappropriate to share that information with your co-workers, it’s totally fine to have a professional Twitter profile for networking purposes.
2. Should I set my profile to private?
Alternatively, there are probably a few cool people at work you don’t mind letting into your personal world. Setting your profile as private means you can continue saying pretty much whatever you want without consequence and not running the risk of having it brought up during an interview.
3. Can I get away with being an anonymous tweeter?
If you’ve already connected with your close friends, you can become an anonymous tweeter. Change your profile picture and remove your name from any tweets. If that sounds like a lot of effort just tone down anything inappropriate until after you have a job.
4. Is there anything from the past you’d rather not have dug up?
You might be thinking that an interviewer, if they even look in the first place, will give the first five or ten tweets a once over and leave it at that. Don’t be naive. People are sad creatures and you can easily digest someone’s entire timeline in a matter of minutes. Comb through with an employer’s perspective and rid any evidence of your true self.
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5. How easy are you to find?
When I got a real job I changed my Twitter handle from my real name to a word-play involving Mexican food. It was a small change but I thought it would be enough to throw anyone off my scent. I was dead wrong. People find me easily all the time. If you’re going to covert route, spend some time on it.
6. Should you care what your employers think?
At the end of the day, as long as your not defaming, you’re allowed a Twitter profile to vent your inner-thoughts. Twitter is a hell of a lot less narcissistic and toxic than Facebook and, when used right, can lead to job opportunities. Tweet sensibly, rid any damning any evidence and you should be fine.