Immediate Action: Clean Up Your Online Tracks

In the past I have warned my readers about the perils of social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Recent hacks on Facebook drive my points home. The biggest problem is, these sites are very good — too good IMHO — at linking you with other people, and allow anyone to discover things about you which you yourself may not have included in your online profile but one of your friends, or a friend’s friend, may have published.

As you embark on your job hunt, one of the first thing you should do — actually you must do it now! — is to clean up all your social network profiles. Remove any photos that may be offensive in anyway, such as you posing with some strippers (even when they’re fully clothed) or having a good time at a party where everybody is apparently drunk or stoned. Unlink friends who have offensive pictures. Change your privacy settings to make it harder for the public to find you. Like many politicians and public figures have repeatedly said, if you want to succeed in your profession, stay away from Facebook and other social networking sites. (Twitter is probably better since you don’t have to register your real name.)

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One Response to Immediate Action: Clean Up Your Online Tracks

  1. quantcareer says:

    As an example of the burden of online social networking, one of the prices I pay for running this blog is I have been asked by many potential employers about it, such as why I run this blog, how much time I devote to its management every day, and whether I make any money off it (the answer is “no,” other than maybe driving a few book sales which I cannot be certain of). I think it has generated some unwanted interest in these potential employers, but at least I run it as a service to my book’s readers and potential readers so I perfectly understand what this may cost me. The question is, is all your online social networking presence necessary and worth potentially costing you a job offer?

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