Careful, Your Social Networking Is Showing

October 9, 2008 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

Latest statistics just released state that 22% of employers now review social networking sites to ‘run a check’ on potential employee behaviours. This is a rise from 11% in 2006, and there are a further 9% indicating they intend adopting this practice in the near future.

In this age of Big Brother, there are few aspects of your life that can’t be checked up on. In an article on ABC News: Good Morning America, journalist, Tory Johnson, raised the spectre of how personal blogs, or sometimes worse, blogs operated by friends or even your children, could be sabotaging your job prospects or opportunities. But forewarned can be forearmed and it can be possible to turn this looming disaster in your favour.

In the U.S. (and as I always say, Australia is never far behind) many employers or prospective employers now run a search to see what they can pick up about an employee or applicant. Positions or promotions have been won or lost by what they have found. Sometimes it is not even an entry by the owner of the blog but comments made by outsiders that have caused the problems.

Kathie Thomas, Director of global virtual organisation, ‘A Clayton’s Secretary’, and self confessed ‘Blog Guru’, tells of an individual here in Australia who lost his job because of things he said about his employer’s company on his blog. He also had to remove the blog because of threatening legal action by his former employer.

One incident cited by Ms Johnson was that of a lady who posted her holiday photos, some in a bikini, on her blog for family in friends. There was nothing distasteful about the photos, however some of the comments posted by visitors to the site were most distasteful. As she seldom checked the site these comments remained and were seen by her employer and co-workers causing a great deal of discomfort for her at work.

Points to consider if you, your friends or family have a blog:

**Be sure your children understand the importance of exposing themselves, or their family, unfavourably to the world. Teenagers who write about excessive drinking or wild parties on their blog – or yours – could be damaging their job prospects.

**Be aware you can block others from posting to your site.

**If you do allow posts, monitor your site regularly and edit or delete if necessary.

**If you are job hunting – or other – never post anything you wouldn’t want your current or prospective employer to read – or anyone else of influence or importance in your life.

**Always remember that this is your face to the world.

Post positive information about achievements, organisations you may be involved in, community service etc. It does not have to be – or should be – trumpet blowing, but casual reference to your many positive attributes could go a long way.

Here’s to writing powerful resumes.

Beverley Neil

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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