How do you look?

As you walk in to your job interview you can be assured that your physical appearance will strongly influence the decision makers. Current style, well groomed and a professional attire will all contribute to a positive first impression. But how do you look online? Melissa Bell, The Washington Post’s article, Online Exploits Can Derail Hiring in includes an important quote from Hasan Elahi at a TED Global talk, “We’re all creating an archive of our own lives, whether we’re aware of it or not.”

Further to how you look in a job interview, companies have been looking at your past requesting criminal checks as a standard part of their hiring process. The process was then expanded by some companies to look at your credit history with credit checks and today, companies like Social Intelligence are being hired to provide social media background checks.

Social Media History Becomes a New Job Hurdle, states, “…75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to do online research of candidates. And 70 percent of recruiters in the United States report that they have rejected candidates because of information online”

The information you make publicly available online must be carefully considered! It is not just the friend you are messaging  or those who visit the site where you  posted your comment or the relative you invited to the all night bash that will have the ability to look at what you have posted online. How will it make you look to a prospective employer?

Those currently in a job search need only stay current to understand the impact they are creating with every public, online post. Unfortunately, most of our youth are unable to visualize 10 or 20 years into the future or understand the maturity and professionalism that is necessary to successfully manage an executive career.

There is no need to jeopardize an authentic personal brand when giving consideration to what you are posting online. Simply ask yourself if the same common courtesy provided in a face to face engagement is being extended to the online engagement. Unfortunately, there are many people who lack empathy when posting online which is most disturbing considering the fact that a post or comment on a public forum for all to see has a greater potential to emotionally offend or result in devastating consequences.

If you are not sure how your comment will be received

If you are angry or hurt

If your comment is a personal attack or an insult

If your comment discloses your involvement in illegal activities


Above all, do not post sexually explicit photos online even if you are absolutely positive that you may consider a career within that industry. Most individuals between the ages of 15 and 25 are adamant that they will never change their minds about anything but some of us have been there and know better.

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