In 2008, an Oregon mayor was ousted from office after she posted racy photos on her MySpace account. She assumed that what she posted was a personal decision; her constituents thought otherwise.
At first glance, you might think the story simply underscores the ongoing debate around online privacy. A closer look, though, uncovers an important job screening lesson.
As the job market continues to remain competitive, an unflattering picture on Facebook or less-than-professional Tweet can create a negative impression of you in the minds of hiring managers. Follow these tips to take control of your Web presence:
- Search yourself: It’s obvious that a quick Google search can elicit information about you. But try Spokeo.com to search more in-depth and root out any potential problems that you need to address.
- Lockdown your Facebook profile: Are you familiar with Facebook’s security settings? If not, you could be displaying information that you don’t want others to see. Check out this video from the US Army to turn it into Fort Knox!
- Run interference: Create a profile on LinkedIn.com that is geared exclusively towards your professional life. It will appear near the top of Google search results and bury other sites that have content you’re working on removing.
- Make yourself immune: The last advice is probably the best: do not post anything on social media sites that you wouldn’t want displayed on the front page of the newspaper!