As a millennial, I can say with some confidence that one of the worst things about this generation is the word “millennial.” It’s among the many burdens of my people:
- Worrying about when the next iPhone will come out.
- Losing sleep by watching just one more episode on Netflix.
- Discovering Buzzfeed doesn’t think you’re the Disney princess you thought you were.
Yes, the rigors are seemingly endless, but none matches the monster that is social media—especially if you’re hunting for a job.
There’s an avalanche of advice and opinions about how young job seekers and professionals should act on social media. (Ironically, much of this is found on social media.) With such an overload of information, it’s easy to misconstrue the facts and the fiction.
So, let’s look at three myths you can ignore about how to live in the world of social media.
Myth 1: You Should Change Your Name On Facebook So Employers Can’t Find You
I’m sure you’re all familiar with this practice. People make themselves less findable online by substituting or subtracting a name in their Facebook profile. I certainly understand the desire to make yourself seem presentable toward employers searching for you, but there are better ways.
Facebook’s privacy settings allow you to adjust how much of your profile everyone can see or who can find you when searching. For someone trying to impress potential employers, a well-groomed profile looks better than one that can’t be found. In fact, some employers may actually find the latter to be “suspicious.”
Myth 2: You Have To Make Instagram And Twitter Profiles Private
I just recommended using Facebook’s most stringent privacy settings, but I won’t say the same of Twitter or Instagram.
In their short lives, Twitter and Instagram have proven to be valuable pieces of the all-important online presence puzzle. Twitter is capable of showcasing personality and communication skills. Instagram can do the same for design and visual abilities.
As someone interested in marketing and writing, I try to use my Twitter account to showcase that side of me (plus endless banter about sports). A close friend is a professional baker who displays her best work on Instagram. Use these services wisely, and they can be a big help for you.
Myth 3: LinkedIn Is Just About Making Connections With People
Sure, connecting with people who can endorse, recommend, and help you in your career is great use of your time on LinkedIn—though it’s only the tip of the iceberg of what this site can do for you.
LinkedIn has so many other features. You can follow companies you’re interested in for more information. You can search job openings and send applications. You can even join groups with people who have similar career interests or backgrounds. A fully fulfilled LinkedIn user takes advantage of all of these and leverages them into future opportunities.
Even though the above items are myths, you should still use your common sense on social media. If you can’t do that or just have to be yourself (another supposed challenge for my generation), then definitely embrace your privacy settings in these very public places.
What other social media myths need to be busted? Share them with us!