Facebook and (formerly) MySpace are all great tools for reconnecting with friends, communicating, and cataloguing your life’s adventures. They are also a great way to not get a job. If an employer gains access to any of your public profiles, that employer is going to see a myriad of unprofessional posts and information that will prevent them from seeing you in a professional light.
This is true for men and women of all ages. While having a profile is fine, allowing anyone access to that profile from your professional life is not.
Keeping Your Profile Professional
We’re not going to go over the millions of unprofessional things you have probably placed on your Facebook or MySpace account. Those mistakes are obvious. But what about the candidates that do their best to keep their profile as professional as possible, so that they can limit the damage the profile does to their job offers?
There are almost no possible status updates or posts that will be seen as professional. You cannot post links to anything political, because the interviewer may not share the same philosophies. Same with religion, the economy, and even the struggles of foreign countries. You don’t know who will be offended. You also cannot complain about the weather, or mention a funny story with your dog – none of these are professional.
- Wall Posts/Comments
There are several things that are out of your control. If an employer sees your profile, and sees that you have a friend that commented: “OMFG, LOL, dat wuz da shizzle!” on one of your professional posts, suddenly you will be seen as unprofessional for associating yourself with them. In fact, the person that comments on your wall may write something that is completely professional, but if they use poor capitalization or grammar, it can still harm your chances.
- Photos of Yourself
It’s highly unlikely that in all of your photos you are standing professionally in professional clothes, doing something work related. Chances are you are hiking or going for a walk or at a bar or with friends – all of these, while not “unprofessional” activities, show your personal life. By default, anything in your personal life is not professional.
What’s the Point
You can block your wall, prevent comments, not make any status updates and avoid putting any photos on your Facebook – but then why even bother having one?
Unless you have a way of doing it effectively, like a fan page for your business, don’t try to create your own social media profile and use it professionally. It rarely works. Instead, keep your personal profiles blocked from the public, do your best to make them almost impossible to find or access, and delete anything that’s blatantly inappropriate in the off chance they somehow find a way to access it. The only people that should be able to see your profile are your friends, no one else.
Take Away Tips
- Don’t try to create a public professional social media profile on Facebook.