Social media presents us with the opportunity to brand ourselves, both personally and professionally.
This is the source of comical Buzzfeed articles featuring the funniest tweets of the week; it’s the source of memes, political debates, news articles, sports updates and more. Even still, Twitter is also a place where potential employers go to see how you interact with others on that particular platform. According to Career Builder, 70 percent of employers look at employee candidates’ social media platforms. This can be used to your advantage if you conduct yourself properly. However, Twitter is inherently a social platform.Two questions arise: do you use Twitter for both personal and professional purposes, or do you create two separate Twitter accounts?
A personal brand is important. A professional brand is important. Mending the two is imperative. I personally have one Twitter that I use for both personal and professional branding. It’s important to me that potential employers see and understand both of what I’m interested in professionally as well as what makes me who I am.
In Laura Lake’s article “What is a Personal Brand?” she says to “balance your social media presence with business-related updates and personal updates. That way others will see you as an established professional but also get a sneak peek into your personal life and what makes you tick.”
Only letting employers see one side of your brand can hurt you in the long run. On many job applications, there is a place to provide your Twitter handle. Potential employers are looking to get a handle (pun intended) on you before they have a chance to talk to you. Combining your personal and professional images is a prime way to show them what sets you apart from other candidates.
Jamie Roebuck-Joseph, a senior journalism major, has two separate Twitter accounts: one for personal use and one for her professional brand. “The benefit of having two Twitters is the freedom,” Roebuck-Joseph said. “It’s not that I have a bad alter ego or something that I’m trying to hide from my employers, but I do think having a Twitter dedicated to my professional life versus my personal life helps to keep me organized.”
In Kimberly Schneiderman’s article “5 Tips to Boost Your Personal and Professional Brand,” she argues that there is no difference between your personal and your professional brand. “No matter how much we try to separate our personal and professional selves, it’s impossible to leave one identity completely at home or at the office,” Schneiderman said. “When thinking about your professional brand, leverage those personal attributes that come naturally to you. When you fully combine personal and professional identities to build your brand, it becomes easier to remain completely authentic.”
It is important to show employers your most authentic self. That means ensuring that both your personal and professional personas are portrayed on your social media. Even if you do have two separate accounts like Roebuck-Joseph, whatever you put out on the professional account should still portray who you are and what you’re interested in.