I bet they’ll never know I drink every Friday and Saturday night if they can’t see my Facebook pictures. Better yet, I’ll fly under the radar and nobody will be able to search for me if I use my middle name instead of my last name.
Wrong, and wrong again. Here is a newsflash: Employers understand student behaviors. Nobody is convinced you spend your Friday evenings at the library. We just don’t want to see a Facebook picture of you demonstrating the 2-story funnel you built during the snowstorm. That being said, here are some Facebook behaviors you may want to avoid:
The First-Middle Name – Who are you hiding from? This one tops the list of sketchy behaviors. Not only does it raise questions about what you are attempting to hide, but it simply isn’t effective. We’ll give you a tip: FACEBOOK IS SMARTER THAN YOU. Through “friend suggestions” and “find more friends” options there is a good chance your First-Middle name change will turn up, then you’ll have some explaining to do. Also, type an email address in the search box. Voila! Tough to hide from an email address. Depending upon their privacy settings you can find out all their dirty secrets!
“I Have Separate Profiles” – Are you living a double life? Introducing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! We understand that you’re trying to separate your business and your personal life, but this is the wrong way. If you want your professional contacts to stay out of your personal business, don’t accept them as friends! Simply explain that you limit Facebook to close friends and family. If you can’t do that, learn to set up contact groups and set specific privacy settings for professional contacts. We suggest limiting the pictures people can see, possibly your “wall”, and certain “interests”. You may want to keep your 16 and Pregnant guilty pleasure to yourself.
No Picture – The Mystery Man – If you’re part of the “generic name” club, you may be trying to get away with this strategy. The odds of finding Joe Smith on Facebook, minus any other information, are pretty slim. However, that doesn’t give Joe a license to be a sketchball. Put up a profile picture. Find a picture of yourself without a funny face or beer in your hand. If that’s a problem, you may need professional help.
Personal Fan Page – Unless you’re a bonafide celebrity or icon you don’t deserve a Facebook page. Convincing your professional contacts to “like” your fan page may be difficult. Don’t put yourself on a pedestal. You will manage to alienate both your legitimate friends and your professional contacts.
At the end of the day, Facebook is an extension of you. It is difficult to keep your business and personal life entirely separate. If you want to be transparent, learn to censor your profile so you won’t be embarrassed by any content. Nobody cares about the chickens on your farm or the bedtime play by play. Avoid these sketchy Facebook tactics, occasionally post something interesting, and you’ll garner the attention you’re looking for. And if you’re strictly looking for attention? Get a puppy. A puppy will love you unconditionally.