This article was posted first on Technorati as: Social Media Profiles: Blurring the Lines Between Personal & Professional
Not too long ago it was easy to keep your private life separate from your professional life, but advances in technologies are making this increasingly difficult. Advances in networking, social media in particular, makes blurring these lines easier and even convenient in most cases. Think about who can see your life’s most private moments such as weddings, your kids birthdays, holidays, graduations and so on. People who you might not know all that well, aside from maybe a social network, can access your photos and videos without much thought from you about their intentions.
There is also the professional dilemma, with more and more companies using social media to screen candidates, it’s important to keep your professional image unmarred of anything you might not want a hiring manager to see. A study done by the social monitoring service Reppler and Lab42 found that 91% of hiring managers polled said they use social media to screen prospective employees. Facebook is checked by 76%, Twitter 53% and LinkedIn 48% of the companies polled. It’s interesting to see LinkedIn, the most professional themed social site of the bunch, checked by the fewest number of companies.
What to do about it? The first and probably the most important piece of advice might also be the trickiest, figure out privacy settings and update your account so you know exactly who you are sharing content with. In addition, you can also find sites that specialize in privacy, there is one for photos and one for videos that are good to have bookmarked. Make sure you only share things that you would be comfortable with other people seeing, including prospective employers. Just because Facebook isn’t designed for career profiles doesn’t mean one risky photo or video won’t jeopardize a career opportunity for you. From the same study by Reppler, 69% of hiring mangers stated they rejected a candidate based on what they saw on a social network.
For photos, the free site 7momentslooks promising, it’s currently in private beta but boasts rigorous privacy settings designed to keep photos secure. It also solves the problem of having to navigate tricky privacy settings on other photo sharing sites.
For video, the site givit.com allows free private video sharing that doesn’t allow you to re-share videos from people that don’t want you to. Video sites like YouTube and Vimeo even are built around getting the most “views” for content. The idea is to amplify your voice, not to share private videos. Givit has the unique advantage of being built from the ground up with privacy in mind, not as an after-thought.
There is a time and a place for everything, just make sure the time you have on video or photographs is in the right place. There are plenty of appropriate video and photos that are fine for public consumption but for the more personal, the more private, take care not to jeopardize your happiness and career by putting on display what would better be left private.