I just read a great blog post on Mashable about taking control of your personal brand (
In this age of extreme social media, this is something that is seriously overlooked.
It is said that over 50% of HR and hiring managers will look someone up on social sites before they interview them. I know I have done it, and it has definitely changed the way I have looked at that candidate. The lines between professional and personal lives are being blurred. For the most part, this is good, but this can also be a bad thing.
If you’re looking for a job where responsibility is key, maybe you should keep the pictures of you throwing up in the alley private on Facebook. And just so you know, all someone has to do is change their Facebook network to the same location as you, and they can see most of your profile (unless you actively restrict it).
If you are going to use social media to develop your personal brand for career development, then you really have to take control of it. Some people actually hire social media managers!
For example, I manage Facebook very differently than any other social site. Facebook to me is for family and friends, although, I’m still very careful as to what I put up there. I am hesitant to even share my Twitter account with friends and family, not because I don’t want them to see it, but because it’s mostly about nerdy stuff, and would bore the hell out of them.
Another reason for being proactive is that you want to control the information that people find about you. I made sure to update and fill in my Google profile, so that if someone was to look for me using Google, they would see what I want them to see. Although, Google really doesn’t like the French last name so much. If you are logged into your Google account, just do a search for “me”, and at the bottom of the screen, you can edit your profile to control what people see. You can add links, contacts, and personal and work information about yourself.
Just be yourself out there, but use common sense. This is a social web, so it’s open to anyone, and whether you’re looking for a client, a job, or even a friend, no one needs to see you drunk, running naked in public.
Hope everyone has a great weekend.