Social Networking – Personal vs. Professional information

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 - career transition, job search, social networking


Social Networking

Jennifer, a job seeker asks: Where do you draw the line? how do you decide which photo, information, etc is appropriate to be there for some of your contacts (specifically professional contacts) to see??

No- I am not talking about super inappropriate pictures or anything like that…It’s just that when I started facebooking- it was more of a personal page just like myspace or friendster wherein most of the people you will have there are your friends and that is one great way to update everyone of what is going on in your life by posting photos where you travelled, with your pets, family and some good fun times at the bar where you are probably holding a bottle of beer or liquor with your girlfriends or buds..lol

I guess…now that I am about to start a new job and I am planning to definitely utilize and make full use of my facebook page to do networking..is it time for me to get rid of my bacheloretter party pics? I guess the best thing to do is create a separate professional facebook account?

In answer:

Keep one account, but tone it down to a “I am a professional, but am not as grey as a brick and do have a social life” formula. Apply a test of “would I tell my mother this in a busy coffee shop” – and its alternate of “if it makes my mates laugh, its unsuitable” and all should be OK.

Having two accounts just makes recruiting and HR people looking to employ you conclude that you DO have something to hide – and hence its a reason for a CV/resume first stage sift exclusion. Where as restricting access to a set of pictures on a girls trip to Vegas can be easily understood.

Employers want to see socially connected people, so having a Facebook account which includes social things appropriate for your age/the event being attended is more than fine. But how you handle your own image and information reflects in part how you will handle their image and information: HR people are taught that patterns repeat.

Good Luck!

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One Response to “Social Networking – Personal vs. Professional information”

  1. priya Says:

    This is a good question one which I also had to face. While there are some hick ups, having professional contacts on facebook helps reduce the ‘officiality’ which can be a great thing in fact you might realise that the people you are working with are actually very cool!

    http://www.deskaway.com

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