It seems like everything you read about social networking these days contains some dire admonishment about the importance of keeping your social outlets squeaky clean. While it’s unwise to post compromising photos or fringe political statements on your Facebook profile treating everything as if it were your resume takes a lot of the social aspects out of social networking.
Clearly there is a balance between a staid, bland, joyless profile and one that forever jeopardizes your career. Just where that particular balance lies depends in a large measure on what you hope to accomplish in terms of your personal brand. Here are some rules that allow you to advance your brand without taking all the fun out of life:
- Post with Purpose. Avoid posting material just for the sake of putting up content, and before you post, ask what the post says about you personally. Not everything should be shared, the things you don’t post tell the world as much about you—or more—than the things you do post.
- Combine Elements To Create Rich Public Portrait Of Yourself. There’s more to you than just work so showcase those things about you that make you unique. Your social outlets allow you to share more about who you are as a person than a resume or CV ever can. Use these media to share your interests and hobbies that enrich your personal brand and differentiate you from the crowd. Remember, however, there are details about yourself that you should kept private.
- Remember It’s Not Just About Work. As the adage says, “all work and no play…” even so, social networking is still primarily about networking, so you should be mindful of not only of what your posts say about you to potential employers, but also to your friends and family, it will be they—and their view of you—that can have the greatest potential impact on your career. Think long and hard about the public persona you want to cultivate and post only those things that enhance your reputation.
- Sometimes Less Is More. Your social networks is a form of media exposure and good public relations agents make sure their clients don’t get over exposed. There are lessons to be learned from this approach, before posting ask yourself if you are advancing your brand by providing some new information about yourself or are you repeating yourself. Posting similar messages about your love of sailing over and over again may not make you seem more interesting, but more mono-dimensional.
- Post Your Best, Leave the Rest. Social networks allow us instant and immediate access to the world; use this access judiciously. Never post while angry, under the influence, or in any other state that may cause you to post things you will regret later. You may be able to take down sites and scrub your public image but negative posts may forever alienate people who you may someday want on your side.