Does professionalism come with censorship?
Before you get to the interview stage, the chances of an employer googling you are high. They want to make sure they have the best candidate for their team. However, do your mirror selfies alter their perception of how hard of a worker you are before they even meet you?
The internet is public and we tend to forget anyone can see our accounts. Yes, you can have a private account, but there are ways to get around it. I’m sure you asked a friend to follow someone to see their account. It’s perfectly normal.
Although social media is public, it is a personal platform. People can do whatever they want on their accounts. It’s theirs. It is easy to show off that you went to the beach last weekend or that you won an award for “Best Cupcake Recipe.”
It seems like students are pressured to put on a good image for employers. For example, we have all seen a picture of someone covering a red solo cup with a Snapchat sticker saying “Good Vibes Only.” Employers are not naive, they know college students drink.
Social media is deceptive. The internet is filled with lies and so are people. For example, I can easily take a picture in front of Yale University and say I’m transferring. Are people going to believe that? Maybe some. The point is not to believe everything you see online. People do post things for attention and to show off their accomplishments. So, their story can be altered in the sense that viewers are getting the wrong idea.
We also can’t control how people see us. There is unconscious bias. It is not fair that employers make a judgment based on a social media account before meeting their interview candidate.
You can post whatever you want, but remember -- cancel culture is real. There is nothing wrong with posting your cute lil brunch picture. However, you should not be committing hate crimes online. People should voice their opinions online, but should not go out their way to attack someone or a group of people. Just imagine in 10 years, you have a big job at your dream company. Then, someone fishes up something nasty you tweeted in your golden college years. Being a dick will ruin your reputation.
Social media is a gamble. You will never know what people will think of you, but maybe that’s alright. If you want to post a candid picture of you eating pizza, go ahead. Just be nice on the internet, and I’m sure you’ll be alright.