As CreComm students, my classmates and I have all been warned to death about the ramifications of not maintaining a professional social media existence. Our Facebook, Twitter, and Blog accounts have become unofficial resumes for potential employers. (I'd dare say a potential employer would probably spend more time looking at my unofficial social media resume than my real one simply because it is far more interesting.)
Needless to say, it's a no-brainer that we all have to be extremely careful about what we post. People have lost jobs before they even got them, they tell us. Just for things they've posted on Facebook or Twitter.
I agree with this a thousand per cent, however, I am curious about how far one is supposed to go in order to edit their profile. Do we edit our friends lists too? Do we edit our likes? Political opinions? Pictures? groups affiliated with? Do we edit what other people post on our walls?
So long Facebook Friend!
I think when it comes to maintaining professional Facebook account, then it is probably a good idea to constantly edit your friends list. I get that we all want to be popular and have hundreds of friends, but the bottom line is that you're accountable to who you know. (The ol' saying: "You are who your friends are" rings true for a lot of potential employers in this case.)
I had to delete one of my ex-boyfriends (the only one I still actually like, ironically) from Facebook because his sense of humour was beyond offensive. His status messages made me uncomfortable, and I think I can take a lot.
Either way, I deleted him because A) I was scared that I would somehow be linked to him and his views, just because we're Facebook friends. B) His status messages were too ugly and negative for me to look at every day.
So, when you join those Facebook groups or "like" something, you're automatically personifying your account.
"Ahh, Jane likes to snuggle!" or, "Oh look at Rusty, he just joined an I love Justin Bieber fan group."
Ok, so I know that Jane likes to cuddle and Rusty likes the Biebs. Cool.
However, when I go to Wally's profile and notice that he has joined a bunch of marijuana fan pages and "I support marijuana" groups, I am going to draw the conclusion that Wally is a pot-head. (Even if he's a "functional pot-head" or simply an avid supporter of pot-heads)
I'll probably pass him up for that awesome job he applied for just because I'd be scared that he's be a non-functional pot-head, who smokes illegal drugs. (As a business owner, I probably don't care that pot is basically legal in Canada. Illegal is a liability. -- And if I am a pot-head business owner, I'd probably still pass Wall up for the job because unlike me, he is so blatant about his illegal pot smoking. Amateur.)
Click, click, click, flash...
Look, if there are pictures out there of you hammered and being goofy, just do yourself a favour and untag yourself (or delete if they're yours.) -- It may seem harmless because Alcohol is legal, but you wouldn't list your resume hobbies as getting wasted...