Five Facebook Mistakes to Avoid


Facebook is constantly changing its privacy settings and controls, so your Facebook page may be more visible than you think.  Here are some of the bad ideas I’ve seen lately – bad, that is, if you’re in a job search and hoping someone is ready to hire you.

Bad idea number one: posting pictures of you, your family, or friends dead drunk, making out with a stranger, or in other compromising positions.  Especially if you have more than one occasion to post, or you post a comment that makes it seem funny.  Even if you’re not the one making a monkey of yourself, you could be hurting someone else’s credibility with their employer.  I am NOT LOL.

Bad idea number two: Asking a stranger or public figure to friend you, but blocking your wall and information so we can’t see who you are.  I, for one, don’t accept friend invitations unless I recognize the person or can see the quality of their wall postings.  You may be a very nice person, but I have no idea about what will come onto my news feed unless I can see what comes onto yours. Better idea – connect through LinkedIn.  I know that your profile there will be professional and focused on what we have in common.

While we’re at it, please use a profile picture of you when you ask someone you don’t know well to friend you.  If you want to be found and increase your network, it’s confusing to see a picture of your grandchild, your dog, or anyone else when I try to remember who you are or where we’ve met.  Again, LinkedIn has this right – everyone there uses a professional head shot.

Bad idea number four: too much frivolous stuff on your page.  Many professionals create two profiles to avoid this problem.  Keep Farmville, your horoscope, and your bunny hugs on the personal profile (if you must have them.)  Keep your professional profile less cluttered.  That’s not to say it shouldn’t include the real you – you can decide which hobbies and interests you reveal to the world.  (For me, it’s food and cooking; I share recipes and wine tips with friends.) Most of us block the game notices on our own walls (Mary just fed her pig!) but if your wall is filled with game notices, it may look like you’re not very serious about your job search or have way too much time on your hands.

Bad idea number five: developing a pattern of less-than attractive behavior posts.  Whining about the boss, your brother-in-law, or how your husband won’t pick up his socks gets old after a while.  Liking snarky pages with names like: “Slap the Stupid People!” or “[whatever people I disagree with] Are Idiots!” just doesn’t make you look like management material. 

Seth Godin has said: “Your Google search results are your new resume.”  I just Googled my name, and the social media links came up even higher than the traditional media links to my name in news stories. What does your online and social media presence say about you?

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3 thoughts on “Five Facebook Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Good tips, Candace! I’ve seen people divulge far too much personal information on their Facebook profiles before which can be harmful for people’s professional reputations. Think before you post!

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