With the rapid grown of social media, millions of users are putting personal information out there that can be accessed by anyone. Most people don’t realize that this information can potentially have a negative impact on a job search, a career or even on one’s current employment.
Many of us use our social networking profiles to share information with friends and family. But as your network grows, your information can be viewed by an increasing number of people.
Employers Are Watching
Employers have many viable candidates in today’s tight employment market. With this large selection, employers are not only not only looking for candidates with the required skills, but also ones who will fit well into their work culture. And an easy way for them to do this is to check out a candidate’s online profiles.
Your social media profiles are establishing a personal brand for you as an employee, whether intentional or not.
Before putting your information online, consider this:
- Any information you post online can be reposted and viewed by virtually anyone. The best (or worst) example is Twitter, where your posts are permanent and can easily be reposted or “retweeted.”
- The things you are passionate about, even if they aren’t related to work, can have an affect on your overall image.
- View it through your parents’ eyes and ask yourself, would they be proud of the image I have created for myself?
- Are other people leaving comments on your profile that you may not want seen by a potential boss?
Keeping It Separate
Some other tips to help protect your personal information:
- Have a professional profile that is separate from your personal profile. You can keep your professional profile public, while your personal profiles should be protected using the site’s privacy options and only used to connect with people you trust.
- Instead of putting professional information on Facebook, use a site like LinkedIn to create a separate professional profile and a place for potential employers to visit through a unique URL to your profile or resume.
It won’t serve you to create a false persona or a boring, generic profile with almost no information. Instead, consider how you want to be perceived by others.
The Golden Rule
Always remember, your social media profile should be viewed as though only your closest friend, best client, and biggest prospect have access to it. Keep this in mind and you’ll never have to worry about a current or potential employer seeing your Twitter or Facebook page.