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Facebook: Not Just for Friends Anymore (Part 6 of 6) February 7, 2010

Posted by friedgreenbananafish in Facebook.
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Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make sure that your online profile won’t come back to haunt you when you’re looking for that new job.  

First, employers often use the information they find online to see how accurately you portrayed yourself in a resume or an interview.  It doesn’t look good to go into an interview and say one thing about your outstanding education, work experience, etc. and then have your boss check your profile and find out none of it’s true.  Either don’t lie, or don’t post it.

Secondly, when posting messages, or writing on a friend’s wall, be sure to watch your language; beware of posting derogatory comments, swear words, and dirty jokes, all of which can tarnish your professional image.  Just think, if you were a hiring manager, would like to see someone representing your company displaying racist or sexist comments?  

Another good tip is to check your English — using poor spelling and grammar on your profile  gives off the impression that you are uneducated, or just don’t care enough to take the time to do things correctly.  This can definitely turn away potential employers, so just take a couple of moments to proofread before you post.  

Check out your name on Google and other popular search engines, and check it often.  By knowing what your friends have posted about you, and knowing what your Googlegängers are up to, you can answer any questions an employer might have about you…  (Or them.)  

And last, but not least, keep your profile private.  Change the settings so only friends can view your profile (not snooping employers).  But take this piece of advice with a grain of salt — you should never rely too heavily on privacy settings, because in the world of cyberspace, anything is fair game, and once something is on the internet, you CANNOT get it back…

 These suggestions (check out a great list of them here) along with a little common sense and dignity should keep you safe in today’s online culture.  

Facebook and other social networking sites, when used responsibly, can be a great resource for connecting with people from all over the world, be it professionally or socially.  

But always be on the lookout for something that could come back to haunt you.  If you have the slightest doubt about something, just keep it private — people will still like you.  

Indeed, the best advice may be from Ben Nebo, a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota.  He said rather simply, “If you don’t want your mom to see it, don’t put it on.”

Good advice in a world where anyone with an internet connection can see very intimate details about you.

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Comments»

1. Another Day On Facebook - February 8, 2010

*clap* *clap*

I really want to know how you cranked out an amazing 6 part post this fast. In the time you posted three parts I haven’t even posted my second part.

friedgreenbananafish - February 9, 2010

Ha ha – thank you! I must confess, I didn’t just sit down and write this; it’s actually an essay I wrote in 2007.

It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, and I spent weeks at the library and in front of a computer compiling all the research. After showing it to a few of my journalism professors, they encouraged me to publish it in some way, and this just seemed like the best way to go about it!

Thank you so much for all of your input during this little experiment. It makes me happy to know that someone out there actually enjoyed reading it!


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