Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. LinkedIn.
Do you know that the more you post on your social networks, the more you allow people to piece together an impression of you?
That’s your digital reputation and it’s often permanent!
If you are looking for a job or applying for higher education, be aware that recruiters and admission officers often do an online search first for what they can find out about you.
If they don’t like what they see, you may never get that first interview!
Want a positive digital reputation? Here’s what you shouldn’t be posting online:
#1. Wild Night Out may become your Worst Nightmare
Don’t upload photos or videos of your wild night partying and getting stoned drunk. Or pictures of yourself doing things you shouldn’t do, like ragging other people or smoking banned substances. Even if you don’t get into trouble with the authorities, no recruiter will take you seriously if they see you that way!
#2. Don’t post what you don’t want your grandmother to see!
You may think your curves look great in that bikini or your six packs are awesome. But don’t be tempted to show off online because it’s not professional. It’s a fact that sexy photos project a “certain” image (one associated with Geylang) and it’s certainly not an image you want your future bosses to link to. It’s also not a good idea to post such images unless you want to get harassed by people with wrong ideas.
#3. Rants may Ruin your Life
Remember Sonny Truyen? The famous, or rather infamous, Australian who was fired from his job because he ranted about not being able to catch Pokemon in Singapore?
Rants often get out of control because you would have ranted while you were angry and not thinking properly. If your rants are racist, sexist or slime a religion, you’ve set yourself up to get onto the top trending topic of the day, not to mention a potential police investigation.
If your rants are just plain vulgar or apoplectic, you give the impression that you lack control and judgement.
#4. No Ad Hominem, please
It’s normal to post comments to news articles and blogs or respond to other people’s comments. This is called having a discussion.
Even if you disagree with someone’s views, don’t make personal attacks.
Expressing yourself in a respectful, thoughtful manner backed up by sound arguments will impress anyone who sees your comment.
Calling people you disagree with “stupid” (or worse names) shows you are immature and have no good arguments.
#5. Bragging gets you Nowhere
You may be tempted to exaggerate your accomplishments and achievements especially on professional networks like LinkedIn.
Don’t! Because these things are easily verifiable, you risk coming across as someone with no integrity.
#6. Don’t unwittingly Share Company Secrets
Be careful when you share information about your work online. If you bitch about your company or boss, word may get back to him/her. Potential bosses will also have a bad impression of you.
Be careful too that certain information you share about your company, for example, new expansion projects or mergers, may get you into trouble. You will be seen as indiscreet and unprofessional, and not likely to be hired by anyone (after you are dismissed!)
Posting intimate descriptions of your hot date. Sharing blow-by-blow accounts of your baby’s poo-poo or how clever he is. Sharing salacious stories about goings-on in the office. Boring people with constant updates of your relationship. These are some examples of over-sharing.
It drives your friends nuts. It also shows you lack discretion and judgement and are probably full of yourself. Not a good hire!
But you can’t stay away from social media, so how do you protect your digital reputation?
First off, learn about privacy settings on the various social media platforms and set them to the level that you are comfortable with. If set to public, then anyone and everyone can see what you’ve been posting.
Even if set to “friends”, be careful because nasty posts can still be screen captured and shared by “frenemies”! Further, recruiters may even ask to be added as your friend just so they can see what you’ve been up to. So you can’t really hide.
If you really need to share, then post content that are useful and helpful to others, or share what is inspiring. Share things that showcase your interest or you as a person but not stuff that can turn back to bite you later. As they say, before you share, T-H-I-N-K.
Is it True?
Is it Helpful?
Is it Informative?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind?
Contributed by LK Lai
LK has travelled the world as a news journalist and enjoys interacting with people and listening to their stories. She likes to pen her thoughts and observations on family life, work issues, and anything that impacts societal development. She gets her inspiration from observing the antics of her three teen-aged boys and what goes on online.