Your Brand: Facebook – To Be Public or Private?

Your Brand: Facebook – To Be Public or Private?

By Suzanne McGee, Director, (@mcgeepr)

As you start looking for that summer internship or getting closer to graduation and the job quest, are you thinking about your online brand?

Prospective employers will want to learn more about you and how you present yourself. If your job has a social media element, they may check on how you are using tools like Twitter or Facebook.

The latter site can be tricky, as some use it for purely personal communications; others use it to demonstrate their prowess in the online world.

Today’s CNN Tech section highlights the problems that a public Facebook page presents for job hunters. In her article, “Young job-seekers hiding their Facebook pages,” Stephanie Goldberg reports on how 20-somethings are either tightening the security on their page or changing their names so that they can’t be found by potential employees.

When considering how to use Facebook, you should ask yourself two questions:

1. What is the purpose of my Facebook page?
2. Who is my audience: friends and family or the general public?

Depending on how you answer these questions, especially the second one, you now have to make sure your response is reflected online. Take a moment to look at the picture you are presenting to the public in general. Does it best represent your personal brand? Does it portray a good picture of who you are?

If your page is for private use, review your security settings under the Account tab (currently on the upper right-hand side). Or check out Facebook’s Privacy section. Make sure that the entire Facebook network can’t take a gander at your weekend photos or learn more about your personal hobbies. But, also understand that it only takes one friend to copy an inappropriate photo or comment and paste it somewhere public. Once it’s on the Internet, consider that it could become public.

If, however, you decide you want the masses to see your page, make sure that you are fine with everyone in the world taking a gander at your life. This includes everything from your wall to photo tags and fan pages. Be aware that some employers are looking at Facebook and may be influenced by what they see.

No one is saying you can’t have an online presence, just make sure it paints a picture you want others to see, especially those that may hire you.

1 Comment
  • Bennie Sham

    March 31, 2010 at 2:13 pm Reply

    Great post, Suzanne. I agree that anyone who is looking for a job – be it internship, entry level or even senior level- should be wary on how they present themselves on a social network. Those who are most interested in keeping it for personal communications should familiarize themselves with the privacy policies. Many may argue that they keep it for personal reasons and it should not affect their job prospects but, in truth, it does. It goes back to first impressions. And yes, they stick.

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