If you are under the age of 30, you have probably already been warned about what you put up on social media in fears of how your future employer will interpret it. In fact, there numerous studies about how to manipulate your page to make you more employable: from your profile picture, to the type of societies will look better on your CV. It seems you can not make a virtual step in any direction without every one of your future employers and co-workers judging your capabilities from it.
My question is, why?
When you are a student, you are probably going to drink. And go out clubbing. Even if you don’t drink, literally no one looks good with club lighting. But the fact that you drank so many VK’s your tongue was dyed blue for the rest of the weekend, does not mean you are not able to turn up work on time, or that you are not passionate about marketing. When you retweet a post about Syria, or write a blog about feminism, that should not be brought up in an interview process when trying to get a barista-job whilst supporting yourself when trying to make your big break in London.
Albeit, there are places online that you deliberately design for employers to see- Linkedin for example. But I am a young millennial, which means that Facebook was the first social media I was a part of. I have had Facebook since I was 13 years old, and as I’ve grown up, my social media has grown up with me. Keeping our social medias updated has become a massive part of our lives; a place where we can share and explore aspects of ourselves, and meet like-minded people. People starting university this year have literally grown up with updating their social media, in a way that the slightly older generation can never truly appreciate.
Our lives are not about getting jobs, despite how much passionate you may grow to become. So why are employers looking at our 15 year old selfies in order to determine whether we had the qualities they are looking for back then? Why are our degrees, references, cover letters, and endless other pieces of paper not enough for you to figure out whether I will be a good fit in your team? At the end of the day, if the only people with bland social media profiles are being hired, that either means that you are going to have to spend five days a week with the most boring people imaginable, or the things they get up to are being uploaded to a different kind of website.
So please, judge us on what we bring to the table, not what get up to on the weekend. It’s not that unorthodox, it’s how you were selected for your job. You didn’t have the ability to share your life via social media. If you did, your interviewer probably wouldn’t have hired you.