Being A Good Candidate In A Social Media World

By now, most people have heard the horror stories of being on the job or interviewing for a job and then learning that your employer or potential employer has found negative things about you from your Facebook page, or somehow tracked down messages you’ve written on Twitter.

The reality in today’s world is that even though it might not be fair that employers will judge you on what you do in your private life, they do. This isn’t a new phenomenon, however. Companies have always had either well known or hidden behavior clauses that give them the right to terminate someone based on bad behavior.

It’s just that these days it’s easier to get information on most people because in this day and age of being more accessible and their being less privacy most people have put their information out on the internet without thinking about it. What’s scarier is that you might not put any information online, yet be inadvertently “outed” by someone else who wants to share something you were a part of.

We like to caution people to never do anything that might harm their reputation in any way unless they’re ready to suffer the consequences. We point out that a few years ago a woman representing New Jersey in the Miss America Pageant had some racy pictures she thought she had protected on her Facebook page, only to have one of the people to whom she’d given access copy those pictures from her page and turn them over to pageant officials. Luckily, the officials decided the pictures didn’t violate the morals clause in the contract, but it should have been an eye opener to the world that nothing is ever safe online, whether you believe you’ve protected it or not.

Unless you have your own business and aren’t worried all that much about what most people think, it’s always a smart thing to try to control what gets out about you. And while you’re at it, make sure no one is taking pictures if you happen to decide you want to let loose and party without reservation.

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