October 31 is almost here. So, in the spirit of one of my favorite holidays and my newfound love of Twitter, here are a few tips to keep you safe and successful when you go “Trick or Tweeting” this year.
- Yes to outrageous costumes, no to outrageous tweets.
Many people consider Halloween a time to get a little wild. Hey, when else can you walk around pretending you are Lady Gaga, a tanned Jersey Shore cast mate, or a certain embarrassing tweeting politician? Probably not so often… Unfortunately, the same idea does not work as well for your tweets. Shock value and comedy are not always best, especially when your tweets are public. Yes, in case you haven’t been told this a thousand times already, what you do on the internet is public. Not to scare you because it’s Halloween, but what is said over social networks can and has been used against seeking and current employees. This could include you… if you’re not careful. Just like your mom used to inspect all of your candy before you got to dig in after a successful night trick or treating, review what you wrote before you tweet. Is it appropriate, rude, potentially embarrassing? Think: Would I want my future or current boss to see this? If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t tweet it.
- There’s nothing worse than no one “getting” your costume.
This is the worst. You think you have the greatest Halloween costume idea ever, and then no one has any idea what you are. Because I try to get creative and make my own costumes every year, I’ve fallen victim to this time and time again. One year I was a pirate, but everyone thought I was dressed as a biker. Not a successful Halloween for me. Obviously, I need to be clearer on what I am trying to be. With Twitter, you also want your followers to “get” who you are. The simplest way to do this is in your bio. This is the perfect opportunity to let people know who you are, what you’re interested in, and what your goals are. Your bio can be clever, simple, funny, whatever… what’s important here is that it represents who you are. Your tweets should also be representative of how you want to portray yourself. For example, if you are thinking about going into the fashion industry, tweet and re-tweet interesting and relevant information about the field. Post pictures of your favorite trends and styles. This applies to every field. Share what is interesting to you and what might be relevant to others. This way, people will more likely to want to follow you. Who knows? These people might even be so impressed with what you have to share that when the time comes for you to search for a job, they will want to hire you.
- Trick or treat at the right houses.
Let’s be honest. There were always those houses you avoided when you were trick or treating. These were the houses where you knew the owner was going to give you a granola bar instead of a chocolate bar or where you secretly thought the owner dressed like a witch was probably a witch in real life. On the other hand, there were also those houses you knew to definitely stop at. These were those neighbors who let you take 2 or 3 candies instead of one. When it comes to Twitter, you also want to make sure you are going to the best houses. What this really means is that on Twitter you have access to a ton of information. Some of it is pointless. Some of it is hilarious. But most importantly, some of it is extremely useful. While you can and should follow your friends and your favorite celebrities and comedians, remember that you should also be following people that will help you stay current in your desired career field. Because I want to work in Higher Education, I currently follow the twitter accounts of HigherEduTalks, HuffPostCollege, and others who tweet information that is relevant to my field. I get to stay updated with what is going on in the world of Higher Education which will make me more successful when I’m in the working world. If you are interested in working for the government, consider following USA.gov. If you want to go into the healthcare industry, why not follow nytimeshealth or WHOnews? You’ll definitely gain a lot of interesting and important knowledge from doing so.
- It’s okay to be a witch on Halloween, not on Twitter.
Some of the best Halloween costumes are the scary and evil ones. The witches, zombies, and horror movie villains are always a hit. Still, while it might be fun to dress up like one of these terrifying characters on Halloween, it is not in your best interest to be the witch or villain on someone’s Twitter feed. When you start to tweet a lot about what you are thinking, it sometimes becomes easy to throw in the angry, annoyed, and occasionally rude thoughts that pop up in your head. We all have these thoughts. There is no use trying to hide that fact. However, just because you have a negative thought does not mean you have to share it with the world. It takes one spur of the moment tweet for you to offend someone. Also, if you’re constantly tweeting about the negative, people who follow you might then view you as a negative person. This also may hurt your image during your future career search.
Most importantly, social media, especially Twitter, doesn’t have to be as scary as some of the costumes you’ll see this weekend. Just remember to be yourself, think before you tweet, and have fun!
Toppel wishes you a wonderful and safe Halloween!