You probably already know your Facebook page can ruin your career. Too much information or an inappropriate photo can keep you from getting a job, stall your next promotion or make you the laughingstock of the office. But, too often, we don’t realize how much information we’re giving away, even when we think we’re being careful.
Here are seven things you should leave off your Facebook page if you want to protect your career.
Social media users must use common sense when choosing pictures and videos to put on their Facebook pages, said Chris Dessi, founder and CEO of social media marketing firm Silverback Social.
“Look at all your pictures and videos and assume that your parents are looking over your shoulder and watching them,” Dessi said. “If you are not comfortable with your mom or dad seeing it, get rid of it.”
Keep it clean
Cursing or sexual references are a big no-no.
“I don’t think it is ever appropriate to curse on social media,” Dessi said. “To me, it seems to show that you can’t think of the right word to fit the situation. It dilutes your own brand equity and intelligence in the eyes of others.”
Sexual references are also a big red flag.
“Keep anything along those lines out of the conversation,” Dessi said.
Careful who you associate with
Everyone likes to be a part of a group, but certain groups may not be good for your professional development.
“Check the groups that you belong to, because they display on your Facebook page,” said Rachael Wachstein social media creative director at Fishman Public Relations. “If you are a part of ‘Drunk and Horny Times’ or ‘I Hate My Job’ or ‘Let’s All Get Smashed,’ which are all real groups, that is obviously not something that will look too good.”
People should not just watch the pictures they post, but they should also be sure to keep a close eye on pictures in which they are tagged. Workers will be sure to face backlash over an inappropriate photo, regardless of who posts it.
“You want to make sure that pictures of yourself posted on other pages would be ok for your boss to see,” Wachstein said. “Unfortunately, most people do not think of checking photos where they are tagged.”
Stop playing around
People who love to pass time by playing games may not love the problems those games can cause when they show up on your profile.
“Another thing to think about is the applications and games you play, since those will show up on your recent activity,” Wachstein said. “You may not want things like ‘Gangster Wars’ or drinking games showing up in your recent activity.”
In addition to showing up on your recent activity, these games can also give bosses an idea of what you are really doing to pass the time at work.
Posting about how much you hate your job or other aspects of work is also probably not the best idea, either.
“You should never post anything negative about your boss, existing or potential clients, or your job in general,” said Katy Lynch, president of social media agency, SocialKaty. “These networks are public information that anyone can see. If there is something on there that is negative, it can be very detrimental to your image in a number of ways.”
“You need to think how you want to be perceived online,” Lynch said. “You want to highlight as many positive things about yourself and if someone sees something negative it just can be detrimental to your reputation and image.”
Don’t give TMI
Less truly is more on social media. Users should be sure not to go overboard in what they share, particularly when talking about private and personal information. When in doubt about what to share, Lynch advises users err on the side of caution instead of oversharing.
“Avoid posting anything that is considered ‘TMI’ or extremely inappropriate,” Lynch said. “For example, you should definitely avoid posting a video like ‘check out this video of me getting wasted on 15 shots of Patron.'”