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.)