The Morning After: Your Social Networking Profiles and Personal Brand

I get it, personal social networking profiles should be places where you can share personal information, express yourself and be social with your friends and family. Unfortunately, thanks to the accessibility provided by the Internet, what was once private and personal is now public information. As a job candidate, over 80% of employers will search your name and look at your social profiles.  47% of recruiters react negatively to pictures that include alcohol and 54% see misspelling and poor grammar as a deal breaker. These are just some of the things that should be top of mind when posting to Twitter and Facebook. Below is a checklist to make sure that your nights out don’t reflect badly on your personal brand.
Adjust your settings When you post on social media, make sure that you set your content to be seen by the right audience. On Facebook you can change the privacy settings of your post from “Public” to only be able to be seen by your friends. Beware: just because your privacy settings are set, it does not mean that you can post anything and everything. Remember there are always loopholes, and where there is a will there is a way to find information. Just ask your girl friend in a relationship, she could be an FBI agent with her snooping skills.Approve your Pictures By changing your settings on Facebook, you can also set it so that your pictures must be approved by you before they are shown on your profile. This saves you from your friends who go on tagging sprees in the morning and then you are left with the embarrassment until you untag  yourself when you sign on. As for Twitter, if you RT a photo from your account, it will also show up on your feed, so make sure you are selective with what you choose to share on Twitter.

Red Cup Rule: When you take pictures with your friends, make sure cups of alcohol or bottles are not visible in the picture or worse, in your hands.

Check your status. When the Henny in the system, ain’t no telling… yes you can blame it on the alcohol all you want, but check to make sure that your statuses weren’t updated impulsively last night and now you have tarnished your personal brand. What it shouldn’t say: anything about illegal substances, passing out, hangovers, cursing or just plain inappropriate. The walk of shame is not for anyone else to know about.

In our resources section, you can download a checklist that you might want to glue on your computer and use every weekend. Diligently protect your personal brand, you will thank me later. Also check out this awesome infographic on making the right first impressions on social media and what else to avoid.