I'm on Facebook a fair amount. I try not to use it all the time, but it's linked to my phone and I update it throughout the day. I post more on the Young and Free Facebook Page (if you haven't "liked" it yet, you need to) than I do on my own personal page, but I will still post the occasional status update or picture on my profile. That being said, I am also very careful about what I post on my profile because I know people look at my page. Before I had this job, I was looking for any job I could find that would help me start a career. I'm a huge sports fan, so I naturally applied for jobs within the sporting realm. I have also taken photos for sporting teams throughout the years, and posted the pictures onto my profile. Generally speaking I would include a link to some of my albums so employers were able to see my work. One of the things that is becoming more common among employers is looking at people's Facebook pages before an interview. Depending on what is on your profile, you may want to sift through some old material and make sure it is not going to put you in a bad light. Here are some things to consider.
Old Blogs/ Old Posts
I know that some people in my high school (Hampden Academy) used to write out their lives on Myspace and Livejournal. Sure, it may have been years ago, but it still has your name on it. Be careful about what you have posted in the past because a computer savy employer can look back and see what you have written. I see it today in the form of Facebook statuses. I know what it's like to not look forward to going into work. We all have those days/weeks, but the reality is, posting about it can reflect negatively when it comes to interviews. Don't write updates that show how much you hate your current job. If an employer looks at what you have posted in the past about your employer, what's to say you won't do it about them if you get hired?
I love taking photos. I went out and spent a decent amount of money on a camera so I could take pictures. I have photos of myself everywhere around the country. There's pictures of me on Facebook in Denver, on the Broncos field, at Tim Tebow's house with his Heisman, at the Golden Gate Bridge, and various places around Maine as well. Photos can be a great way to show people parts of your life and where you have been. Photos can also show what party you went to last night, and where you chose to become inebriated. If you are constantly posting pictures of yourself at parties, or with alcohol, people can see it. That may go without saying, but the reality is, if it's online, chances are your employer is able to take a peek at it. You may have a hidden profile, but there are ways around it. If there are pictures of you on Facebook, consider untagging yourself so they don't show up on your profile. Post pictures of yourself doing positive things rather than pictures of you that could bring down your image. You may be the most qualified person for the job, but if it looks like you are a party animal, you may be overlooked.
Would Mom approve?
We live in a world now where mothers are on Facebook. We've come a long way considering Facebook was originally created solely for college students. Regardless, if what you are posting would offend your mother, or something she would feel uneasy about, DON'T POST IT. It may be funny but if it's offensive, it should be kept away from your profile. The name of the game is professionalism and that is what many employers are looking for these days.
If you ever wonder what can be found about you online, do a Google search of yourself and see what pops up. Use Parenthesis around your name and hit enter. Look through and see what everyone can find. You may be surprised to see what pops up. Be sure to check out this article as well which has other good tips on what not to post. Remember, don't write out your sorrows on Facebook, don't argue over senseless topics on your wall and don't post pictures of yourself that could hurt your image. Your next potential employer could be searching for your profile. It just may be what makes or breaks you.
Do you screen what you post on your social media sites?