Everything you do online will influence your personal and professional brand! How are you perceived? What impression do you want to leave with colleagues, friends and decision makers? Recently I wrote, Heated Conversation Threads after reading far too many negative personal responses “gone public” and it seems that no one is paying attention.
Of course we are all more easily influenced by a negative comment or issue, which is why it is extremely important to exercise restraint prior to posting comments online! First and foremost, according to Internet World Stats, the population of North America is 340,831,831 and the number of Internet users are reported to be 259,561,000. Over 76% of the population of North America have the ability to provide online content! With these statistics in mind, is it possible that everything that is posted online is valid and accurate information? Do you believe that over 76% of the population of North America has the expertise, common sense and the sense of responsibility to avoid exaggerating or overstating the facts? Seeking to gain attention has led many a reporter to stray from the facts or present a sensational embellishment of an otherwise less than newsworthy event. Are you really expecting everything you read online to be the truth?
At one time, a very small percentage of individuals were producing media content, much of it focused on current events as well as on the most elite and renowned individuals of the time. We know that it was not difficult then or now to manipulate the perception of the audience with less than accurate information. Consider Rock Hudson; tall, dark, handsome, suave, debonair and husband and lover of beautiful women. The “sexiest male icon in movie industry.” Did I say women? What about Tiger Woods and his squeaky clean portrayal as husband and father? Or Bernie Madoff, as a trusted and brilliant investment advisor convicted of defrauding billions of dollars? Until these people were actually exposed, little of what you read about them was the truth!
There is a reason you have heard all your life, “take it with a grain of salt”! Today, it is even more prudent as the amount of content posted online is infinite and should be viewed with the utmost of rationale prior to acceptance as fact! Recently, an article about a company who is not hiring anyone who is unemployed has gone viral. Everyone is jumping in to post comments online thrashing various HR departments across the world for unethical performance and using this as an excuse in their failure to land a job! I referred to it in, Job Search Strategy when I noted a valuable post that referenced the article and I specifically advised, “read beyond”, “take a deep breath”, as the article did relay some very good job search strategies. According to the majority of comments posted online, few “read beyond” posting hundreds of online comments regarding one single company’s unethical, HR policy completely ignoring the positive advice that was shared.
Please stay level-headed, leveraging common sense in your evaluation of any online information. Try not to distort the relevance by extracting a single thread of potentially irrelevant information. There is no doubt that discrimination exists in some organizations’ hiring practices but job candidates, for the most part, are determined by qualifications, confidence, professional demeanour, expertise, articulation, confidence, reputation, brand, academic background and most importantly, accomplishments! Millions of companies and organizations have not implemented a new rule to deny consideration to potential candidates that are currently unemployed. It is highly recommended when posting comments online to relay positive information that will highlight your expertise rather than damaging your professional image with negative comments and announcing your inability to secure a job because you believe all HR department’s discriminate against you.