Social networking is here for a minute. Not sure if it is here to stay, being that things change over time. But I will bet that in some form or another social networking will be here for a while. So that means that we have to master it and not let it master you.
One aspect that is a definite that we control is how we look to future employers, because it should come to no surprise that they are watching. From the moment you place your résumé in their hands they have some nosy cat sitting right by the monitor seeing what they can find on you. What stupid picture you posted with a bag of green in your hands. Or the countless pictures of half-naked models you have posted everywhere. They will see it and decipher if it is a good look or not.
First I would recommend closing down all routes to your page from snooping eyes. Make privacy your priority. If they aren’t in your friends list, then they should have no access to your page. I would also add to it, be careful about which co-workers you let in your social media business. If it is something like LinkedIn then it is cool. But Facebook?? Nah I would think again.
Black Enterprise also has a list of things you can do for those snooping eyes looking for you.
1. Status Updates: Posting content that relates to your area of study can position you as a candidate that stays current in his/her area of expertise. Including links to content solidifies that you’re actively identifying valuable content to share with your community.
2. Checking-In: Location-based check-ins such as Foursquare or Facebook Places can be a great way to connect with people in the real world. Your check-ins communicates a lot about you as a person, your lifestyle, the places you frequent and the time you visit those locations. Make sure what you’re sharing reflects what you want to communicate to the outside world.
3. Profanity on Facebook Wall: A recent study by Reppler, which studied 30K Facebook users, identified that 47% of Facebook walls contain profanity. Be sure to monitor and manage your Facebook wall because what’s there communicates a lot about your personal brand to potential employers—even if it’s your friends who are posting the profanity on your wall.
4. Angry Posts: Your social networks are not the place to have meaningless arguments or to create angry posts where you go back and forth discussing non-value added content. Take these discussions offline and save yourself the embarrassment of coming off angry or hateful.
5. Spamming on Your Wall: If people are tagging you on photos and put posts on your wall that are not related to you that’s spam. You can adjust your settings and restrict permission by blocking people from leaving comments on your wall. You want to look like someone that’s ready to work not just another billboard.
6. Embarrassing Photos: This is one of the most important tips and can never be over emphasized. It’s essential to remove or untag yourself from embarrassing photos that don’t represent you in a positive light. What was funny to you and your friends may be a big red flag for potential employers. Private moments should remain that way.
7. Engage Your Community: When posting content remember to engage your community versus focusing on content about you. You never know who is listening to your online conversations and you don’t want to come off as being self-centered or arrogant.