Social media used to be for sharing your personal life with friends and family. Corporations have now caught on and are doing complete background checks on social networks. With intensive research, one can find out what you did for work in the past and your social life in high school. Volunteering at an orphanage and being elected as valedictorian are all great for sharing but that isn’t always the case. Here are 4 ways your professional life is at risk by neglecting privacy settings on social media:
1. Controversial Posts
Before you send out that Facebook status update about your “longest work week ever,” really think about the types of consequences you may encounter. As innocent as that post sounds, it can be easily misinterpreted as a light jab towards your company. Comments like this may be reported by co-workers to managers. This can result in the possibility of losing your job.
Befriend co-workers on LinkedIn instead and change the settings of who can see your status updates from “public” to “friends.”
2. Interaction With Others
Taking your anger out on others on Twitter is awfully common and at times not carefully thought out. In your mind, verbally attacking another user may come off as standing up for yourself. But to an executive, you sound immature and unsuitable for the workplace. With a quick search of your name on Twitter, might reveal more than you’d expect.
Change your account settings from “public Tweets” to “protected Tweets” and have your posts only seen by your approved Twitter followers.
3. Dishonest About Qualifications
Lying to get a job you want without having the necessary skills, experience and qualifications is never a good idea. That position you’ve been eyeing for the last couple weeks could sound like a great fit for you. You decide to add fake past employers in the related field on your LinkedIn page to get your foot in the door but the truth will come out sooner or later. Making your public profile visible to everyone doesn’t help.
Keep your public profile settings visible to “no one” until you are confident enough in how you want to portray yourself online to hiring managers. Honesty is the best policy.
4. Unprofessional Photographs
The boss types in your name in a popular search engine such as Google and a picture of you holding a mug containing alcohol appears. Not particularly appropriate for an elementary teacher applying for a job at the newly built school. The interview process didn’t go much further from that point on.
Research yourself online and remove any undesirable pictures you may not want to surface online to a potential employer.
Be fully aware that anything shared online will be very difficult remove. Have separate accounts for your professional and social life, if need be. Understand that if your account is visible to the public, take a couple minutes to think whether or not you mind employers seeing that post.