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Read this before your next job search

We know that worlds are indeed colliding and the neat line of demarcation between work and play is disappearing. Most of us have social media accounts where we freely share photos, family updates and our musings on the issues of the day. Most of us intend to share with those we know, like and trust. Our friends. Our family. And for many, this circle is large enough to include work colleagues, as well as our bosses, customers, and clients. But did you know it may also be wide enough to include prospective bosses?

If you are one of the 41 percent of workers who, according to a recent Microsoft survey, are considering quitting or changing professions this year, please take note that one's private digital footprint is considered fair game to prospective employers.

According to a survey done by CareerBuilder, more and more (over 70%) employers admit to peeking at the social profiles of prospective employees and over half of them admit to not hiring someone based on that social media excavation. Clearly, they find out things they cannot legally ask you about - gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political views, disabilities, religious affiliation, and pregnancy status. But what people often forget is that they also can mine information about your other less professional, less than flattering activity - extreme vulgarity, excessive alcohol and drug use, hard partying, online bullying, cruelty towards others, snarky retorts to the posts of others, etc. - and it creates an impression. Your personal and private online narrative becomes part of "your personal brand" even at work, even when those activities have no direct relationship to the job in question.

Knowing all of this, what should you do if you are looking to change jobs in the near future?

We have three top tips for you.

First, remember nothing is private on the Internet, no matter what your privacy settings. All it takes is one screen shot retweeted, reposted or otherwise sent out and what you thought was private is now out in public for all to see, to comment on, and to pass judgment on.

Second, review your social media footprint and make sure it reflects the best version of yourself - the one that you joyfully, proudly and comfortably want the world to see - including those in your work world. What seems like a funny photo to post at 1AM may not look so adorable in the light of day. Curate what you share with the world, be intentional and don't overshare. Sometimes less is truly more.

Third, before firing up your keyboard ask yourself: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, rethink your need to put it out there in the first place. Don't be judgmental, rude or mean. A rant rarely makes one look good. Show grace toward others. And when you're having a bad day - and we all have them - maybe it's a good idea to refrain from commenting during that time.

Your personal brand should be consistent across all social media platforms and be consistent with who you are in the physical, real world. You can’t be one person virtually and a completely different person in real life. When you are, you lose credibility. And it's exhausting trying to be two different people at the same time.

So why not intentionally create a positive personal brand that you won't mind taking into the office - when we're finally all back in person - or along with you on your next job interview?

Have a marvelous week -


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