Watch What You Blog, Post and Tweet Online

by Meryl K Evans | Category: Blogging, Life Tips, Meryl's Notes Blog, Tech 11 comments
megaphone Watch What You Blog, Post and Tweet Online

Image from Riesma Pawestri

I wish I could say this is stating the obvious — it’s not. People continue to miss out on opportunities because of something they said anywhere online. This applies not only to those looking for jobs, but also freelancers and those in current jobs. Future clients, customers, employers, agents and publishers WILL check up on you before they consider signing you.

This applies to interests including political. Now, we all have a right to support whomever we want running for office, but how we handle ourselves in supporting or not supporting a candidate can affect whether you get a job or gig. A financial service placement firm reported that a candidate lost out on a job because he posted a negative note on a candidate’s Facebook page.

Whole Foods Flap

I wish I had more details. Would the employer overlook a positive post? Was the negative post one of those shooting off at the mouth without any supporting facts? If the job was an executive or C-level one, it probably would not matter as Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote a Wall Street Journal Op/Ed that left many loyal customers seething. Mackey posts the full details on his blog. In short, his opnion went against what many of Whole Foods’ customers believe in.

Topics That Might Bug Folks

Would you want to hire someone who complains about family, marriage and illnesses, or posts about a drunken night ora frustrating editor? Most of us have done regretable or silly things in our lives, especially as youngsters, but they don’t belong online if you want to have a chance of landing a job, contract or gig.

Oh, you only send it to close friends and family? Even if you can trust them, are you sure they won’t accidentally forward it or accidentally spill it to the public? Remember landing the job at Cisco tweet? Or the Fedex insult?

Rule of Thumb

When you write anything electronically, do the Mom / child / employer check

Would you want your mama or child to read about your drunk night? Would you want your employer to read that you can’t stand X candidate? Would you want your client to see you whine and complain about life in general? Do you want an editor to see how difficult you are as a writer?

If necessary, reword them to ask “How would you feel if you read that a prospective peer or employee did X?” Maybe the reality will have a greater impact.

Recruiters, hiring managers and other folks know that many folks share too much about themselves online. While someone might keep that out of her professional life, that has no bearing on the message she sends. If you need to talk to someone, do it offline. Also, watch what you text on your phone because people can forward those too.

What stories have you heard about people who lost opportunities as a result of improper online posts?

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11 comments

  • Posted by Watch What You Blog, Post and Tweet Online | Meryl.net – The Facebook News on August 24th, 2009, 7:47 PM

    [...] Meryl wrote an interesting post today onWatch What You Blog, Post and Tweet Online | Meryl.netHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

  • Posted by Ching Ya on August 25th, 2009, 2:04 AM

    With the convenience of social media nowadays, it’s so easy to get carried away and post whatever thoughts we have for that exact moment. Only then regretted that we did. I agree on the ‘do the Mom / child / employer check’ — always think about the effects of your action before it’s too late.

    Even we plan to share something for unable to hold it longer, there’s always a ‘private’ messaging option. However, be sure you send the message to the right person instead of ‘bulk recipients’! =P Bottom line, always be careful!

    Good advise, Meryl!
    .-= Ching Ya’s blog …How Seriously Do You Take Blog Comments? =-.

  • Posted by Tumblemoose on August 25th, 2009, 8:33 AM

    Hi Meryl,

    Well, it may seem obvious that watching what you say is common sense, but no one has put it together quite as eloquently as you did here.

    I think that if you just try to remain positive in what you post, and keep away from posting about your drunken night out rantings you’ll be fine.

    The internet is not REALLY anonymous…

    George
    .-= Tumblemoose’s blog …The Concentrated Writer =-.

  • Posted by Meryl on August 25th, 2009, 11:25 AM

    Ching Ya and George, After I made this post — I participated in an online chat. I was not comfortable publicly posting my thoughts for one of the questions. I sat on it a few minutes and then let it go. I’m glad I did.

    I try to represent my personality as an honest, conscientious, friendly and fair person. I wouldn’t want someone who has never met me to read something like what I was thinking before they get to know me.

  • Posted by Meryl on August 25th, 2009, 4:24 PM

    Just came across CNN’s How Social Media Can Hurt Your Career:
    http://bit.ly/Vzlzx

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  • Posted by Ching Ya on August 25th, 2009, 11:52 PM

    That’s true. I wouldn’t feel comfortable voicing opinions that may cause controversy unless I’m sure they really able to catch my meaning. Sometimes we just have to be careful to avoid unwanted misunderstandings.
    .-= Ching Ya’s blog …How Seriously Do You Take Blog Comments? =-.

  • Posted by Karen Swim on September 3rd, 2009, 8:00 PM

    Meryl, this post should be taped to our computers. We all have occasional slips but I am sometimes shocked by what people will say in public…and online is not only public but permanent. When you blog, tweet, facebook and even email you should assume that it can be seen by the world. In many ways we have gotten way too comfortable online treating the monitor like an invisible force field!
    .-= Karen Swim’s blog …Reinvention 2.0 – My Story =-.

  • Posted by Meryl on September 9th, 2009, 3:56 PM

    Karen, thank you! Yes, most of us feel braver behind the screen than we do in person. So we need to remember the people we’re talking to and picture them.

  • Posted by Jane Koenen Bretl on September 10th, 2009, 10:11 AM

    I love this post — it is so true and such a good reminder. As the rants and disclosures and sordid details of others go floating by on the screen, it can be too easy to be lulled into a false sense of “normalness” of that behavior. I am lucky that my mom, dad AND son read my blog regularly, so I always have that filter on!
    .-= Jane Koenen Bretl’s blog …on the shores of Michipie =-.

  • Posted by Meryl on September 13th, 2009, 8:12 AM

    Jane, it’s helpful your family reads your blog. Of course, not everyone has family members into social networking or they don’t have the time. But if my mom found some of my how to videos without any help — anyone’s family member or boss can, too.

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