Spring Break or Career Catastrophe?
This post was written by Elena Ruan ’14, CCD Peer Career Ambassador.
Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter – whatever your chosen social media poison is, the message is usually the same. Spring Break is the time to travel to some place tropical or adventurous. With a big group or as an intimate pair, you want to show the world you are an accomplished and world-changing college student who can let loose and have a groundbreaking good time as well. The allure of posting hundreds of photos sipping mojitos and wearing matching neon shirts at a beach party is overwhelming when you have your first break in months, but the subtle (or not so subtle) consequences can be permanent. Just as the career counselors and upper class students tell you to research an employer before you walk into an interview, employers do the same when they receive your internship or job application as well. With the way information travels now, employers can see that you won that county wide spelling bee in the 7th grade or you were the YouTube sensation who could not stop singing to Taylor Swift songs after you got your wisdom teeth pulled. And as much as we would like to think that employers are shadows behind a corporate desk, they are everyday people who need to make instant judgments on a daily basis, just like us.
So what do we do to change those judgments? There are two options: ineffectively censor your photographs with colored shapes; or, use your social media feed to create a unique and positive public image. Everyone knows that students need to get together with friends and give themselves a break, but it should not be at the cost of their reputations. During these four years, we are allowed to make mistakes in a safe environment and prepare ourselves for the realities of adulthood. But when we put many of those mistakes on a giant billboard (which is what posting on the internet is), we cannot leave those experiences behind. Think of every post and picture as a series in a slideshow and begin to edit them. A great place to start is Facebook Timeline Movie Maker. This is the handy tool Facebook made when they celebrated its 10th birthday. Facebook gives you a preview of your most prominent posts, a glance of the impression you project. Using this as a starting point, you will be on your way to taking out the trash and bringing in the class.