While reading through my social media timelines over a lunch break, a handful of tweets caught my eye. It all started with a shared link to a Wall Street Journal article calling Twitter the “new résumé.” The article, while somewhat annoying, isn’t what really peeved me. It was the chatter surrounding the link that rubbed me wrong.
“Again, be professional when using twitter” one user wrote.
“Sometimes I see ppl’s tweets & want to ask ‘u know ur twitter feed is public, right?’” she continued.
Look, this is the exact type of mentality that is harmful to individuality and creativity. Who defines what is “professional” or appropriate? What is considered inappropriate for a lawyer may be deemed perfect and even funny for someone who works in advertising, like me. It’s all relative.
I happen to have what some would consider an “inappropriate” personal Twitter account. I say fuck at least once a day. I state my opinions openly and without much regard to how they will be received. I share (frequently embarrassing) stories about what happens in my life. But most importantly, I allow my personality to shine through and refuse to take myself too seriously. This is acceptable for me because I work for people who not only understand my "charm," but appreciate it as part of a diverse and creative team.
When I first started my career, I interned at a great organization where I learned a lot and made some professional contacts that I still keep in touch with today. However, when it came time to choose a company to work for long-term and full-time, I opted out of the corporate culture. I went the creative route and have never looked back.
If the time came for me to apply with a different agency, I would be thrilled to have them use my Twitter account as my résumé. The ability to create interest and humor within a 140-character limit would be ideal for any position I’d be interested in. And as for the firms who would look away simply because they saw me post “KILLIN YO BONER?”
Well, the blunt truth is that I would never want to work for a company that would write off my talents and work experience just because I happen to tweet inappropriate jokes while intoxicated.
I think the main point that people and companies who tweet in a robotic tone are missing is the importance of engagement. The ability to connect with others, both professionally and socially, is what truly makes your social media presence successful, whether you're cussing or not.
We are all so unique and wonderful in our own ways that it would be a complete shame for me to judge a person or demand they post on social media the same way I do. So, to the anonymous tweeter who is deeming other people’s tweets unprofessional: Just like I shouldn't tell you how boring I think your timeline is, you shouldn't tell me how inappropriate you think mine is. If you’re offended by the f-bomb or boner talk, you can always unfollow and call it good.
You are the one who best knows the formula to be followed to maintain your (relative) professionalism and let your tweets shine as a possible résumé. This is your personal brand, so have a little personality. Don’t take yourself so seriously. People (and most job hunters really are people) will be much more drawn to you if you’re genuine.
So what do you think, is Twitter the new résumé? Should I stop saying "fuck" on the interwebs, or do you relate to having an unprofessional Twitter account (and if so, can I follow you please)?