Monday, March 24, 2008

Watching What You Post on MySpace and Facebook

We’ve all heard people say that our reputation is one of our most precious possessions. And that once our reputation gets tarnished, it’s very hard to untarnish it.

Another one of the advice points from the book by Harry H. Harrison Jr. -- “1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know” -- is:

“You need to know many career and graduate school plans have been derailed by pictures of drunken, half-naked students being posted on Facebook and MySpace. Employers and graduate school admissions officers have computer access too.”

In FLIPPING BURGERS AND BEYOND I spend a great deal of time discussing how to protect your image. The advice ranges from getting a professional email rather than something such as “sexyme” to looking the part for the type of job for which you’re interviewing. (Proper dress for an established engineering firm may be totally different than for a start-up web company even though in both cases you’re interviewing for a website designer position.)

Yet the most important advice for preventing the destruction of your image is when I discuss being careful what you put on any public online space. Anyone and everyone can and probably will see any R-rated photos you post.

Before you upload the photos of your most recent birthday party, check that all the photos are “decent.” If there are any that you wouldn’t want your current employer or a prospective employer to view, do not put them on your profile page.

Strive for a clean public image in person and online, and your career opportunities won’t be limited by one silly antic or racy posted photo.

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