Yesterday, I did something I’ve needed to do for years… but I didn’t want to. I changed my Twitter profile picture from that of my late feline Orange Julius, to a semi-professional photo of myself.
You see, I got my Twitter handle — @OrangeJulius7 — in 2008, when Twitter was just a baby. I wanted to celebrate my awesome roommate, my cat OJ, by immortalizing him via handle. But all good things must come to an end, and I was forced to say goodbye to my beloved fur baby about three years ago.
Alas, I still keep his memory alive in all of my social media handles: Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat. In reality, I created the handle before I had a care in the world about branding.
I know that having a cat picture instead of my own isn’t professional. I know it’s not very serious. But I just loved that picture of him, and perhaps it made my handle a little easier to understand. But I’ve been applying for jobs like a madwoman lately, and I know people are looking at my online presence.
Sure, there are a lot of things out there about me that I can’t do much about. But the things I can change, I figure I probably should, if I ever expect to be taken seriously as a writer, an editor, and a digital media expert.
So, Julius had to take a backseat. For now, at least.
I feel a little bit like a sellout, but at the same time, I know that I’m professional, I’m qualified, and I deserve to find a job that appreciates that about me. So, perhaps it will help — maybe it won’t, but I suppose it can’t hurt, right?
According to an article on Business2Community.com, “When it comes to Twitter profile photos (as well as your photo for the other social media channels), you should use a photo that is professional, front-facing, and appropriate. That photo will be creating the first impression, which is very important for you. Also, you should be the only person in the photo and it should definitely be your face. People will only form a relationship with you if you have a photo that pleases them. If your photo is anything else (or says anything else to them), it won’t work. It is important to keep that in mind. People will react positively to your photo and to the rest of the profile details that you have shared with them.”
Well, here’s to hoping that the simple step of changing my Twitter profile picture will help a potential employer take me seriously. And although OJ’s face might not be on my Twitter anymore, he will forever live in my heart.