Today's post is from Rachael King, who describes herself as a "Gen Y digital media native - and addict - who gets paid to do what she loves." She was recently named one of D.C.'s Top Ten Influencers in Social Media by inthecapital.com, is President of the DC Social Media Club and writes at Professionally Social. As we at Wolf Trap wrap up our intern hiring, we asked her to expand on what every intern (and employee) needs to keep in mind about the world wide web.
So, You're a Clueless Intern... (Yes, You Are.)
All interns are clueless. It's not your fault, at least not ALL of it - even if you're smart, and humble, and eager, which are all great qualities - you're still a clueless intern. Cause you're green, yo, and there's just nothing you can do about it except spend time in the real world, listening, watching, and learning.
We were all there once, it's true. But your generation of noobs has a specifically unique challenge: you not only have to worry about how you present yourself in the interview, or even the job (assuming you get it). You actually need to consider how you're coming across ONLINE, when someone punches your name into The Goog.
And you're not doing it.
Those of us who are savvy enough to do a simple background search on applicants - and trust me, these days, that's almost everyone - are appalled more often than not at the crap we dig up on you, almost without even trying.
You're not even attempting to hide the Edward 40-hands-ing, the nights of clubbing with your lady bits thisclose to being on display, your blog about your womanizing or scandalous dating escapades... we see it all. And trust me, kiddos - from a professional standpoint, this is not a good look for you.
Look, we - the people potentially hiring you - are human. An F bomb here and there, a beer in your hand at a happy hour - these are by no means deal breakers. If anything, they show us you're human.
At what point did America's youth forget that the Internet is PUBLIC? And listen, I don't care how "locked down" you think your accounts are - if you hit that publish button, there is always the chance that the wrong person will see it, and it happens a lot more easily than you might think. There are screenshots, and fake accounts, and hacks, and human error, and about a zillion other ways your update or photo or post can be sent out to someone you'd never, ever want to lay eyes on it.
I'm not telling you to be boring. I'm not saying never have a drink, never express an opinion, never use a little colorful language - Lord knows I do all of those things myself, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Keep the personality. Be quirky, be weird, be funny, be smart, be interesting, be yourself. But be a version of yourself - at least online - that you'd be cool with a potential boss seeing.
Because we do... and we judge.