Private Twitter Account: Keep Out!

Our intern Jessica comes to a big decision about her Twitter account – Follow her adventures on twitter  @Jessica_Weimer

As a college student, when I set up my Twitter account, the first question I asked myself was: Do I want to protect my tweets? I went back and forth on the issue and decided to set it to private. I know a lot of you are judging me right now, so let me explain myself. Ever since I was a kid, it’s been shoved in my face how  important it is to protect my personal social accounts. And in my opinion, it’s probably a good idea for youngsters on Facebook these days to monitor their privacy settings. But now that I’m older and at least a little wiser, there was one reason above all others that persuaded me to check the box next to “Protect my Tweets”: employers.

These days, many companies stalk prospective employees’ Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts before they even come in for an interview. Roundpeg, a social media firm,  admittedly hard-core cyber stalked me before they met me. But what was freaking me out so much? I’m a college student and naturally my interests are probably a little different from the imagined 40-something who would be reading my thoughts. But my tweets are not obscene by any stretch.

As a social media firm, everyone on the team has active profiles on Twitter.  The other day, it was brought up that my account was private. The team members suggested I consider making it visible to the public. It goes without saying that they’re not going to tie me to an office chair until I publicize my tweets. They made it clear the decision was up to me, but this advice coming from social media experts got me thinking.

Twitter is a revolutionary way to network yourself. You create relationships out of thin air with people and companies you’d never have access to otherwise. Twitter can be the perfect showcase for your material. Employers will actually be impressed instead of turned off if you can use social media smartly and effectively. My advice is to use Twitter as a resource. Can you show off your full potential with your account locked behind bars, chains and a big KEEP OUT! sign? Probably not.

Even more in depth, Twitter gives an insight to who you are as a person. What do you care about? Your pets? Your fantasy football league? Nicholas Sparks? Employers like to see this stuff. If you mix your intelligence with topics that interest you, that’s brownie points. And that’s the true power of Twitter.

I have nothing to hide, I’ve realized, so why not use my Twitter account resourcefully? Tonight’s the night. It’s time to set my tweets free, once and for all.