Presenting Myself to the Public
The time for applying for jobs (specifically summer internship for me) came. From the very first day I made my portfolio and filling out applications, the hardest part of all was writing cover letter and introducing myself in words. If you read my previous posts you probably already know, I am not a good writer and do not enjoy writing most of the times. I am not good at using big and fancy words and I still can communicate. I communicate well with visuals in addition to the writings. That’s real me.
But anyways, I have no choice but to write about myself to let people know how I am a unique human being who cannot be replaced by anyone. So I write about myself. Big question I still can’t solve arise here. With my writing, I want to impress people, I want to be represented as a funny person, I want to be an ideal person to collaborate/work with, I want to be the creative one, I want to be the smart ass. The list goes on and on of how I want to describe myself. So, instead of me being real me, I am only 3/5 of me when I try to only pick my talents and characters that fit into the company’s ideal person. I am not lying when I describe myself. But I mix and match my skills and personalities, just like making a new persona based on myself. And new personas appear with every companies I apply. With all these different personas I made, I am not lying. I’m just carefully selecting how to present myself to who I don’t really know.
My online presence is not that strong. I recently started Twitter, even though I haven’t posted anything, I recently downloaded Instagram, I rarely write about my opinions to Facebook (except checking-in and uploading photos). I do understand the importance of these social networking platforms. I just am still figuring out how to share things online. Because I am not a good writer and because those reckless opinions live forever like scarlet letter, I am very conscious about posting anything online. Also I still have not figured out how I could share a meaningful opinion toward social issues without being too close minded because I am sure that I am not considering all the factors that caused the issue to rise. Addition to this, I am also trying to figure out how to leave a cool comments about what I’ve done without sound too spoiled or not in a bragging manner and write an awesome story about the memorable trip to an exotic places. … And what if I am a quiet person who likes to keep my opinion to myself and to my close friends rather than sharing it with the whole public?
I watched a Korean tv show yesterday. The panels of the show talked about how PR-ing of oneself has become a market opportunity for Koreans that there are institutions for teaching the job seekers how to write cover letters and do job interviews. Then what is the whole point of all these PR things when people are not really themselves. How are they differentiating themselves withe their true, unique nature when they are just some parrots that repeat after the instructor who tells what the idea answers are to each interview questions.
I am not too sure how to end this post, but my final thought is that I am still trying to understand and have some answer to how I represent myself both online and offline (I am mentioning offline because I do behave differently when I’m with different groups of people, which is similar to how I am pulling out different persona to different companies). I’m sure there is no right or wrong in how people show themselves in different platforms and spaces. I’m just saying that I’m trying to figure out how to frame myself to be seen as a funny, creative, honest, hard-working, and smart (and many many more) person to people because I am very concerned about my own presentation to others.
Originally published at www.seungyounlim.com on January 26, 2016.