by Jazmin Chavez
When was the last time you “Googled”” yourself? Did you like what you see? Did you view everything that was possibly posted about you? Your employers sure did. Welcome to your new resume. We often see the Facebook settings that tell us to change our security settings, but by then your status updates, tweets, drunken birthday pictures and wild nights of streaking have been posted.
Employers are now looking to social media resources to check on their current and future employees. Whether your settings have been set to private or not, employers and police agencies have methods of researching your activity on the web. In 2007, while working for an organization in Colorado, I was summoned to the office of the Executive Director. What I thought was going to be a routine check-in, turned into a warning.
Up until that point, I had not taken my “net presence” very seriously and only posted nonsense. I had a Myspace account and was barely posting on Facebook. Someone at my office had informed her that I disliked Republicans because of articles and comments I had posted on my personal Myspace page. She told me that my comments were offensive and that she was upset about what I had posted because she was a Republican. All I could do was apologize to her but I felt betrayed and confused. I liked my boss and I was deeply embarrassed but I also felt my “personal space” was invaded. Why would anyone care what I posted? It was “my” page and I could post whatever I wanted. I went home and made all my pages private and removed information that I didn’t want to share with employers.
As I graduated from law school, our professors advised us to remove or delete our Facebook and Twitter accounts until after we received a job offer and passed the bar exam. Another professor informed us that prosecutors and police agencies were using social media outlets to monitor witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants. Nothing is private and your information can easily be found and shared. Employers can view information on you through social networks that would be illegal to ask in an interview.
My advice to you is simple. Control your “net presence.” What you post reflects on you personally and professionally. Keep your net presence clean. If your posts, pictures, or tweets would have your abuelitos rolling in their grave, do not post it. If your posts make people think you need a psychological evaluation, then what will your co-workers think of you? Block potential and current employers and coworkers from seeing your personal social media pages or create a profile that is strictly professional, better yet, join Linkedin. If you post albums to Picasa, Shutterfly or other Internet sites, make all the albums private, and only visible to you. Control the information that you put out for all to see, because you never know when it can backfire on you.
To learn more about Jazmin, visit JusticiaHoy.org.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.