Maintaining a professional appearance on social networking

milos_mommy

Active Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2006
Messages
15,349
Likes
0
Points
36
#1
So, even though I'm into my mid-20s, one of the biggest things that's making me feel like an adult (not, you know, having children or bills or a real job or whatever), is that I really feel like I need to clean up my social media image.

I'm not going around posting trashy pictures or ridiculous selfies or LET'S GET DRUNK statuses, but there's definitely material, particularly older material, that might be damaging to my professional image if certain people (like my boss) wanted to search through my pictures back to 2007...or 2011. I'm talking about things like probably unflattering photos of me with a drink in my hand and a caption like "crazy night" or some awkwardly flirtatious/inuendo post from my ex boyfriend on my 2009 timeline. Or comments by me in which my use of profanities were not carefully monitored.

I've obviously been more conscious of this since for the past 4 years or so, and everything questionable in that sense is at least that old. There's also a lot of political opinion articles and well, opinions, I've shared. And many sarcastic statuses that are supposed to be a joke but most people might not "get" AKA "I'm only wearing crop tops with big cat pictures on them this summer"

So....how concerned should I be if I "friend" my boss, or a constituent, or potential donor, or big name politician who I may want to hire me in the future? What do you consider "inappropriate" for a professional adult's personal FB page? Do you follow any "rules" regarding what you post - like no pictures of you in a swimsuit or at home in PJs, no swearing, no religious posts, or any others?
 

JessLough

Love My Mutt
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
13,404
Likes
2
Points
38
Age
29
Location
Guelph, Ontario
#2
No, I'm not terribly worried about it nor do I have guidelines, although my profile is pretty locked down so random people can't see everything I post. (I know, it's the internet, yadda yadda yadda, but...)

Personally, I stay away from really posting "hot topics" that may cause an argument, although that's because I am incredibly non-confrontational haha
 

Beanie

Clicker Cult Coordinator
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
14,012
Likes
0
Points
36
Age
36
Location
Illinois
#3
My profile is really locked down, which yeah, whatever - but I also don't use my full real name on Facebook for this reason.

If you search my real name you will find a Facebook profile for me, but it is a professional only one, the one I use to manage the pages for companies I work for. There is nothing else there... for the sole purpose of not being "found."

For the professional stuff, my LinkedIn profile is more important! And I know potential employers have certainly searched for it, found it, and read it, thanks to LinkedIn telling you who views your page LOL.
 

milos_mommy

Active Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2006
Messages
15,349
Likes
0
Points
36
#4
My facebook is really private, although I consider the fact especially big name companies can bypass that to check on your hireability, any normal person clicking my profile isn't going to see much.

My concern is, I want to "friend" people who I think are going to be good to know, because they post interesting things, do interesting things, are great networking resources, and so on. And I share a lot of stuff on FB that I think highlights the work I do in a way more professional sites can't, event photos and stuff. But...these people either work with me currently or are people I'd like to use as a reference or work with in the future, and while a more obvious appropriate platform would be linkedin or a business FB page, I think being "friends" with them on a more personal level would be a lot more beneficial...if I go about it the right way.
 

GipsyQueen

Active Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
6,079
Likes
0
Points
36
Age
29
Location
Germany
#5
I have a rule where I'm not facebook friends with co-workers - and my profil is set pretty private. ;)
I learned that the hard way at my last job.. not because of anything I did, but one girl I worked with completly lied about everything in her life including having Cancer and sharing pictures of her "brother" ... he was an ex she stalked on facebook.
 

stardogs

Behavior Nerd
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
4,925
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
NC
#6
If I ever wanted to friend professional contacts on fb, I'd make a separate profile. I work VERY hard to keep work and home separate, and that includes social media.

I have a separate business fb for my business stuff, so that solves the issue for me.
 

GoingNowhere

Active Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
1,793
Likes
0
Points
36
Location
USA
#7
I'm also a young 20-something and I am Facebook friends with my boss, my coworkers, and many of the (college) students that I work with. I am also friends with my mother. I didn't think twice about the boss and coworkers (although they all "friended" me rather than the other way around), but I am still unsure if I want to continue accepting student friend requests when I move into my next job, primarily because I receive friend requests from students that I barely know (even in a working capacity). My mom was a given to be accepted :p

I do not try to put on a "professional" face on facebook, but I also maintain myself the same way that I would in any public setting. That is, I am 100% myself, but also cognizant of my own image. I don't hesitate to post a photo of myself in a bathing suit at the beach, lake, or pool, but I won't post any photo - bathing suit or not - that is inherently meant to look like I am trying to be sexy. I am over the legal age to drink, so I don't care if a photo goes up of me and some friends at a brewery, but I never post anything that looks sloppy. In fact, it would be unwise of me to become sloppy drunk in real life because it would be extremely easy for me to happen upon a student that I work with at one of the local bars. I do not respond with my opinion to inflammatory posts (especially if the post was posted by a student), nor do I post my own.

In essence, I am conscious about what I post, but my facebook is very much "me." Maybe I just lead a boring life, but I have never really felt that censoring my facebook is particularly difficult - nor do I censor much. My boss, coworkers, mom, and students are free to look at photos of my dog, new hiking pictures, my photography efforts, my good times spent with friends and family, and I could care less if they wanted to stalk my "happy birthday" wishes to others. They're all people too!

My disclaimer is that if I had a crazy boss, I would not likely add said person as a friend. If I were you, I would remove the pictures that concern you (it's likely that no one will even notice that you have removed them if they are that old) and continue using facebook as a friendly interface for communication that you assume anyone could see. My rule of thumb is my mother/grandparents - if I would be ashamed for them to see it, it doesn't go up.


ETA - I think that it is also important to note that I primarily use facebook for the private messaging and to post occasional photos from my life. If I were an obsessive poster of anything really, I would be much more hesitant to add any professional contacts on facebook because I hate for my wall to be spammed with the ramblings of a few opinionated people and I would be embarrassed to do the same to those with whom I work.
 

Grab

Active Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Messages
3,374
Likes
2
Points
36
#8
Mine's locked down. I also have a blanket rule that I don't FB friend any coworkers. That said, my FB is pretty boring. Unless posting a lot of dog and guinea pig pics is risque
 

joce

Active Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
4,448
Likes
0
Points
36
Age
37
Location
Ohio
#9
Completely depends what your job is and how you use social media.

I have some coworkers on my Facebook. Wouldn't have all of them.

I would not have my superiors on my page.

If I really wanted to network I'd maybe make a second page?
 

yv0nne

Vizsla mom
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
1,152
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Cape Breton
#10
My profile is pretty much totally open and I post whatever I want.

It is 99% funny workout photos or things about my dog& 1% random. I have most coworkers on my Facebook (and I'm their supervisor) and my manager on there.. I never hold what the kids post against them at work (except in one case a girl made a post about calling off sick so she could go to the beach) and i very rarely interact on their pages. Mostly used for mass communication ..especially now that I can see who read messages.
 

Michiyo-Fir

Active Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
2,494
Likes
0
Points
36
#11
Ever since I stared using social media, I've made an effort to not post anything controversial or much about myself to be honest. I will post the occasional dog photo, maybe the odd complaint or funny situation but that's it. I try to stay away from social media other than having a linkedin profile as well, I don't have twitter, instagram, pinterest and whatever else that's out there and my Facebook only has a few dog pictures, a few travel pictures (rare) and maybe a few family photos.

Also since I teach at a university, I do not accept student friend requests on Facebook. The exception is if the student and I actually spend more time together after the course is over and we really become friends, but that hasn't happened yet considering unless the student has questions to ask me, they won't make an appointment with me outside of the school setting. And I may or may not accept if they did anyway. Of course some students are younger than me, some the same age, and some much older, but our relationship is a business/professional one, not the same as the relationship between me and my friends.
 

meepitsmeagan

Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Messages
3,378
Likes
1
Points
38
Location
Michigan
#12
I am FB friends with the small amount of co-workers I have, but not my direct bosses.

But, even if I were, my FB is pretty tame. I'm not a big party person and if I do get totally smashed we don't really document it in any way. I do have pictures from high school where I may look a little sketch (like a night of fake tattoos alllll over), but I would hate to delete them and loose those memories.

So, meh. If it bothers people that much then maybe they don't deserve to be my friend. :p I am who I am now, and that person is the one they should be looking at and represents their company.
 

Sweet72947

Squishy face
Joined
May 18, 2006
Messages
9,159
Likes
1
Points
38
Location
Northern Virginia
#13
There is a website specifically for creating and maintaining professional connections. It is LinkedIn, and I highly recommend you use this website instead of facebook for connecting to a supervisor. Linkedin.com
 

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Top