Recently, my ten-year-old informed me that he Googled me. I was flattered that he thought to, and I was curious about what he thought of the results. He said, “Mom, you’re everywhere online! I saw you on Twitter, and Facebook, and your websites even showed up!” It was both sweet and funny, but got me thinking.
We all like to pretend that we can say and share whatever we wish, with no repercussions. It’s a false sense of security, and we shouldn’t be sharing everything, just because we CAN. Every status update, every Tweet, every photo can come back to bite us in the butt if we aren’t careful.
Let’s assume that you’re on the hunt for a new job and that your present employer isn’t aware of your desire to leave. Use stealth mode to scour the internet for jobs, or if co-workers have connected with you on LinkedIn.
Groups on Facebook and LinkedIn are not always set to private. What if a snarky coworker sees and reports what you’re up to? in a whirlwind, you could be handed your walking papers and shown the door.
Many people have lost their jobs because of what they’ve put online. It’s happened before, and it’s led to lawsuits of various sorts.
Perhaps you’re a business owner. Your personal social media profiles could be a deciding factor for potential clients.
Image is everything, as the saying goes.
How does Google tie into these situations?
When you Google yourself, you’ll see snippets of your latest online activity, from all your social profiles. Everything shows up in Google’s search results.
EVERYTHING is there, front and center, for a potential or current employer, or for the world to see. If a potential client sees you boozing it up at various locales, they’re going to keep clicking past you. If you aren’t proud of what you’re seeing on this page, you may have a problem.
Your mindset should be: don’t get too cozy with sharing your life on social media. I know this is much easier said than done, we’ve all been there. We are at a technological age where over-sharing is not only expected, it’s pretty much the norm.
But it shouldn’t be.
The best course of action is to go through all your photos on each social media profile. Take a hard look at each one as though you were looking to hire yourself for an executive job.
If the photo is anything but flattering and positive, delete it. Back it up to a USB stick or an external hard drive if you must keep it. Depending on how many photos you’ve posted, this could be time-consuming. The end results will be so worth it when you have social media profiles you can be proud of.
Also, check all your privacy settings for each social media profile you have. Share with your closest friends/family only, and use features like Facebook’s “Limited Profile”. This allows people you choose to view only things you want them to see, (you can set these up in your Settings).
Employers spend more time Googling potential employees than doing actual background checks!
It makes sense when you think about it, right? They want to make sure that the person they’re considering for the job is a class-act, and no one can blame them. Plus, Google is free!
Need a hand cleaning up your profile?
A virtual assistant can help you with this, and many other projects.
Questions or comments? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s talk.