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Top Five Facebook Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Career

by Sergey Novoselov - 08/06/2010

Top Five Facebook Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Career

"Facebook is one of the most popular social networking websites with more than 400 million active users. Everybody knows that it is a powerful marketing tool. It is also a dangerous tool.."

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking websites with more than 400 million active users. Everybody knows that it is a powerful marketing tool. It is also a dangerous tool. If you are not smart about using it you can make big career mistakes. Surveys show that approximately 30% employers are using Facebook to screen potential employees.

Some time ago before the Internet when people were looking for a job all they needed is a well-written resume and a cover letter. Then handle the job interview well and pass a background check. Today, in Internet era, when a simple Google search can reveal a lot of different information, you need to be careful and watch out what you write on social networking web sites.

Don’t make these Facebook mistakes that can cost you career:

Posting Inappropriate Pictures. Think twice before posting a picture in your public profile. Prospective/current employers or clients don’t want to see pictures of you dancing on a table after having a few drinks. Our advice is do not post any compromising pictures or discrediting evidence of using illegal substances; even a drunken college picture can harm you.

Thrashing out Your Work, Your Coworkers, Your Boss or Your Previous Employers. Profiles can say a lot about a person. After all it is a place to showcase your personality. If you are saying inappropriate things about your current or previous employers and coworkers, will the potential employer would want to bring you onto his team?

Posting information conflicting with your resume. If you are looking for a job and sending out your resume to different employers, make sure the information in your resume matches your Facebook profile information. If according to your resume your degree is from University of Phoenix, but your Facebook profile says you went to Harvard, you’re likely to be immediately cut from the interview list.

Profile Statuses You Wouldn’t Want Your Boss or Coworkers to See. If you write something like: “I hate my job, it’s so boring. I am planning to call in sick tomorrow. So tonight I can relax and have fun.” Don’t be surprised if you find your name on the layoffs list. Also avoid statuses like: “Watching a great movie at my desk”. If your boss will read something like this, I don’t think he’ll like it.

Know who you connect with. Even if you careful about what you posting on your Facebook profile, unfortunately you can’t control what your friends write there. They can share some pictures from the last party with inappropriate comments. And of course it wouldn’t be a great thing if your current or potential employer finds out. That is why you should take a look at everything connected to your profile and keep an eye on what your friends post.

According to Buzzle.com, here are the top reasons given by employers for not hiring someone based on an Internet search:

* Lying about job qualifications - 31%
* Poor communication skills - 25%
* Links to criminal behavior - 24%
* Trash-talking previous employers - 19%
* Posting inappropriate photographs online - 11%
* Using unprofessional screen names - 8%

The best advice is to lock down your Facebook profile so that only friends you approve can see it. If you are planning to use Facebook as an online resume, you probably should create a second profile and include only the information you’d like your potential employer to see. Having a social networking profile is a good thing — it presents you as technologically and professionally savvy.