If you are anything like me, you spend way too much time on Facebook stalking people you went to high school with and comparing yourself to them. When it comes time to put your degree to work and start your career, you may want to consider what you post on social media and especially Facebook.
Many employers check out Facebook before hiring employees to get an idea of who they are outside of work, and some may even ask for log-in information to access your Facebook page (which, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure is legal). There are some ways to make your Facebook slightly more “adult” without abandoning everything you love about it.
1. Make your page private
This is something I did long before I entered the professional workforce, mostly because I find it creepy that perfect strangers could learn anything about me in one click. There are varying levels of privacy you can put on your page from the maximum (unsearchable) to no security at all (367 vacation photos? Don’t mind if I do…). I have mine set to be searchable, but unless I am friends with someone they can’t see my personal information, posts, or photos.
2. Take a look through those old photos
Remember that week in Mexico where you drank tequila like water? No, that’s what the photos are for. However, your employer may not appreciate those photos quite as much as you do so maybe you want to remove them from Facebook and save them to your computer, or make the photo album private so only you and a few select friends and can view it and relive your capricious youth.
I went through and deleted any photos where I was clearly less than sober, and most where I was holding a beverage. And I never post photos where I am inappropriately dressed, mostly because I would never do that anyway but also because I wouldn’t want people I work with to see me in my underwear.
3. Monitor what people post on your timeline
Everyone has that one friend who overshares, is completely inappropriate at all times, and has zero filter (I am sort of one of those people, though I have learned to reign it in a bit). This friend may post some things to your timeline that other people will judge you harshly for, which normally is not an issue though if your employer sees it, it may paint you in unfavorable light.
You can change the settings on Facebook so you have to approve everything that is posted to your timeline, or anything that you are tagged in. I find this especially helpful when someone tries to tag a photo of me where I look horrible.
It is totally fine to keep your Facebook page as a working adult. How else will you keep in touch with old friends or family who live across the country? It is a great tool for those of us who want to keep up with people but may not have the time, or just hate speaking on the telephone.
Advice – use it wisely. With great power comes great responsibility.