[By Sarah Miskus]

Personal branding is like personal hygiene—it must always come first.  There are those who still believe that they needn’t immerse themselves in the digital world of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or otherwise, but that is likely because they never have before.

As up and coming young professionals, we face a much different challenge with our social media presence – one of selective disclosure.

Baby boomers and Generation X cautiously dip their toes into the waters of social media. Conversely, a Millennial’s initiation into the professional world usually requires a frantic, in-depth recon of their digital footprint to destroy reproachful content from their carefree days of youth.

Remember that what you choose to disclose is just as important as how much you choose to censor.  The field of communications now focuses primarily on the world of social media, and hiring managers expect millennials to come equipped with that literacy. Where it was once ideal to simply remove yourself from a platform or create an alias, it is now a common strategy to actively exhibit your working knowledge of social media using your personal platforms.

The absence of a profile leaves too much to the imagination. Use your profiles as creative and dynamic extensions of your professional resume. If you aren’t present on social media, consider the implications; if you do not use social media should an employer trust you with theirs? And if your social media presence does exist somewhere privately, what are you hiding?

(Photo released under Creative Commons CCO via Pixabay)