This post is a continuation of out conversation about social media in the workplace.
by Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl)
What do you look like online?
Do you even know what others are seeing when they see your social media profile?
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Facebook’s ever changing privacy settings – what they can and can’t share with people outside of your inner-FB-circle. When it comes to protecting your image online, however, it’s a lot simpler than that.
Have you ever Googled yourself? You should. Because current and prospective employers will. And what they see could cost you a job, a promotion, your career. Running a quick search for myself turns up images, two from media outlets and one from a long abandoned (but apparently not deleted) Friendster page. Next come links to my Facebook page (which is nearly entirely locked to my non-friends), my Twitter feed, a few people who aren’t me MySpace pages, one of my blogs, my LinkedIn profile, the Martha Stewart webpage and this blog. And that’s the front page.
If I clicked through the links, there would be nothing embarrassing. Nothing I wouldn’t want my mother, or a prospective employer, to see.
And that’s important.
With more and more people are using social media outlets to promote themselves professionally, it’s all the more important to make sure that the information about you that’s floating around on the internet is SFW (safe for work). In an article today on iMedia Connection, Michael Estrin reminds how very important it is to “cover your digital bases”:
It’s 2010, and no job applicant should be surprised to learn that employers will Google you. They will look at your Facebook profile, and they will worry if you have inappropriate photos up and a wall with posts that would make a frat boy blush.
Sure your LinkedIn page may be professionally perfect, with great recommendations from former bosses and coworkers and a resume that’s impeccable and exactly like the one you would send.
But let’s be serious.
The internet isn’t going anywhere. In fact it’s only becoming more a part of daily life. And, like it or not, social media platforms are going to become even bigger in the workplace. It’s a vehicle to tell people who you are – and not just people outside of your work space. Everyone.
As Jason Baer wrote in his December 2009 article: “Your personal life? Your professional life? One and the same. I know that’s often uncomfortable. But it’s the truth.”