Social Media is a useful tool for maintaining relationships and networking. However, using profiles for both can be problematic.
Having a separate profile for your personal and professional appearance can help prevent problems like this. Below are several reasons why it is important to separate your profiles on social media.
Privacy for Profiles
As stated above, having separate profiles allows you privacy.Unfortunately, some things we are interested in are not wholly accepted by companies in certain fields. Body modification, for example, has made long strides in recent years towards cultural acceptance. Tattoos and piercings, in particular, are more acceptable in society than ever before. However, most businesses adapt to cultural shifts slowly; tattoos are tolerated more than welcomed and often have to be covered, while piercings must be hidden or removed while on shifts. Having body art as interest on a social media profile, or having a profile picture that shows off your tattoos, might push away companies that were considering you. A professional profile that omits this can at least get you in the door. After that, a solid interview could secure you a position despite a company’s stance on body modification.
Sometimes you just want your personal profile to be more intimate. A business might be investing in you, but that does not give them real estate over your entire life. They are not privy to interactions you have with people you are close to. Separating them from seeing those conversations, or your photos is entirely reasonable.
We should strive to be ourselves no matter what situation we’re in, but many of us still put on our best behavior in the workplace. Having separate profiles allows us to maintain this level of etiquette when we are networking. A professional profile will have entirely different conversations than a personal account. Topics of conversation are only one part of it; the words we use, how we describe things, and the tone of the discussion are often entirely different from our chats with friends.
The way that you present yourself online is a reflection of who you are in reality. If you’re applying to a job posting on an online board, would you want them to see a messy public Facebook profile? Or a carefully-constructed LinkedIn with your experience and qualifications right there for the company to see? First impressions are vital to securing jobs; a professional account with a cover letter and résumé makes you a more attractive candidate than whoever your competition is.