Social networking has changed the way we approach employment opportunities
It wasn’t long ago that graphic designers had to carry a print portfolio around when looking for employment. “Snail Mail” was used as a method to send potential employers some samples of portfolio work to give some idea of what the designer had to offer. Nowadays a new set of rules and etiquette help us navigate the often confusing web of social networking and marketing.
Social Networking’s professional pitfalls
Things aren’t like they used to be. Today designers are expected to have some kind of internet presence. Luckily there are many avenues for designers such as Behance and Deviant Art, and a place for motion graphics such as Vimeo and YouTube. Yes, there are so many places to showcase work but there are some things to keep in mind. It’s important to be mindful of what you put on the internet. Not only is work information readily available about you, personal or private information may potentially be available as well.
It is possible that personal info may be viewed by potential employers, and things like political preference and lifestyle choices that would otherwise have been beyond the arena of potential employers is now a part of it. Basically, if you do not filter what you put on the internet, it may cause you issues later on, regardless of your skills as s designer. It’s definitely not fair. but it fair to say that there is information available today that is easily accessed by your social circle as well as employers. Having a solid online presence can have a substantial impact on your career. This has implications on our individuality and the ability to maintain a separate personal life aside from work, but its realistic to be prepared and aware of your online presence. Design is all about communication and is heavily influenced by advances in technology, but using social networking for business purposes is a double-edged sword. It not just designers that should be weary of social media, since all people who use the internet are effected. Any quick news search will display the most current email or social media related scandal.
The ABA Young Lawyers division posted an article on how to prevent the “professional pitfalls of social media” here
Navigating Social Media Pitfalls
Though your portfolio is obviously the showcasing of your Quality and Skills as a designer or artist, its important to remember that professionalism is also an important skill. The way you are portrayed on the internet may not provide the best judge of character, but it definitively influences outside opinion. Your internet presence is am increasingly important part of the larger picture, so make it count.