One of the biggest mistakes any employee could ever make is underestimating the power of social networking sites. There is a reason why most employers ban these sites while employees are in the office, and that’s because employees not only waste time on these sites, but also tend to post things they shouldn’t. Companies have fired employees or overlooked job applicants due to the content of their social networking profiles making the management of these sites more important than ever.
Reputation Management isn’t just for large companies, it’s for individuals as well, especially those wishing to maintain or secure employment. If you are employed and hold accounts on a few social networking sites, there are a few things you should consider doing to save your personal brand. Such things include:
Watching What You Say
Watching what you say on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t just mean avoiding proclaiming your hatred for your boss or lamenting that you wish you had another job, it means literally monitoring everything you say. If you call in sick to work, don’t post about going to the baseball game that day. Don’t swear, don’t bad mouth others, and don’t talk about how you can’t wait to go binge drinking this Friday. These will reflect poorly on you and make your current employer, as well as any prospective employers, doubt your professionalism.
Keeping Your Friends at Bay
If you have friends that frequently post lewd comments on your wall, either block them from posting or ask them not to. If you don’t feel comfortable with either or don’t feel as though you can properly manage them, then consider disabling your wall altogether. The company you keep says multitudes about you, and if they are cursing, hating on their jobs, or talking about risky behaviors, you can guarantee that your boss, and prospective employers, will believe you feel and act the same way.
Listing Positive Activities, Books, and Music
We all have our preferences, and our different likes and interests are what make us unique. However, if you list your favorite book as PlayBoy magazine, favorite movie as American Psycho, and favorite activity as beer pong, people are going to wonder. Even if these things are your favorites, consider listing other, less offensive favorites such as hiking, Marley & Me, and Blazing Saddles.
Watching the Pictures You Post
Do not post pictures of you drunk or in precarious situations on Facebook, and don’t let your friends tag you in the photos where you are shown to be in compromising positions. These photos will hurt your reputation, and will definitely make everyone question your ability to be an adult as well as your professionalism.
Remember, you’re trying to maintain your character so you don’t want to make it look like you do questionable things or have questionable morals. Don’t let social networking sites ruin your reputation and potentially your career. Learn a lesson from a few of the politicians who have recently been compromised due to a few poor Tweets and Posts, and make sure that only positive things about you are posted on your social networking pages.