What Jobseekers Should Never Share Online

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February 7th, 2011

Not too long ago, if somebody wanted to share their vacation photos with friends, they would either burn some CDs or carry a few photos around in their wallet. However, the last few years have seen advances in technology that now allow people to share every almost every detail of their life. Uploading every picture, video
or thought from your life can be great for friends and occasionally family, but not so much for potential employers. There is a big difference between life on a college campus and the real world. Here are some things jobseekers should never share online.

  • You never know who’s looking. Chances are if you are going to a party today, more than a few people in attendance will have camera, and the photos they take will probably end up on Facebook. So while dancing on that table topless or doing that keg stand might have been fun at the time, any photos of it that appear online might take you out of the running for your dream job. More employers are visiting applicants’ Facebook profiles to get a better sense of who they are, the CBS Evening News reported. In some cases, they are even finding ways to access information from profiles with strict privacy settings. Tim DeMello, owner of the internet company Ziggs, estimated that around 20 percent of employers scan an applicant’s online profile before they conduct an interview. What they discover might be shocking. “They come in all buttoned up, their clothing is meticulous, they spend years building this resume, and this person that’s sitting there is almost entirely different than the person posting on these websites,” DeMello said. According to CBS, anything that people upload becomes a part of their online footprint, which may affect people well beyond their college years.
  • If you’re going to do it, just don’t document it. Though we live in a time where every car chase is broadcast live on all the 24-hour news networks, not everything needs to be documented. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned memories? If you are going to a party, have fun, but think about your future. If other guests are doing drugs or anything beyond chugging a few beers, you probably don’t want to be there. You will also regret going if a picture of you appears online next to a guy who is engaging in illegal activity.
  • We get it, you’re sexy. Taking flirty or sexually explicit pictures of oneself for a boyfriend, girlfriend or even as a joke is never a good idea, even if it is intended to be private. Look to any number of celebrity scandals to see how quickly something like this can blow up in everybody’s faces. About.com recommends not sharing anything you would not want your parents to see. Also, though you trust your sweetheart with those pictures right now, just wait until there is a breakup. You never know who else will see those photos.
  • Facebook is not your personal journal. When a user logs onto Facebook, the first thing they might see is the status bar, asking, “what’s on your mind?” It is not rude to just ignore that; Mark Zuckerberg will not be offended. The truth is, while it may feel good to vent online about personal problems, a professor at school or even an employer, it can come back to haunt you. Plus, if employers visit your page and see a history of complaining about previous bosses and other authority figures, they probably are not the type of person a company wants around.
  • Think before you post. Before starting the job search, it might be a good idea to do a Google search of your name and see what comes up. A few things might surprise you.

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