This is Why You Should be Careful About Online Posts

John Krautzel
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Social media started as a fun way to communicate with friends and family. Since this form of communication grew into an online juggernaut, businesses started taking advantage of it in terms of talking to customers and hiring top talent. Discover nine reasons to be careful about your online posts.

1. Long Shelf Life

Online posts have a long shelf life. Even if you delete a post, someone can take a screenshot of it and then post the screenshot. That's gotten many people into trouble in the past, including big-name politicians who post something and then delete it.

2. Friends Have Friends

Your friends have friends online, and when they see an online post that matters to them, they re-post it and share it with their friends. Further, social media sites may change their privacy settings, so be aware that friends of your friends may see private posts in some cases.

3. Nothing Is Truly Private

When you post something, understand that nothing is truly private. You can't control the actions of your friends online, so if you don't want someone to share your online posts, then don't put them up. Rather than make a post for everyone to see, send a private message to a trusted friend.

4. Easily Searchable

Most social networks have search engines that can find content you posted as far back as when your account started. If a topic becomes trending, a social network's search engine may suddenly put one of your posts closer to the top in the search results.

5. Bad Humor

Not everyone may think your jokes are funny. Keep your humor in check, especially if you think your joke may offend a certain group of people.

6. Employers Seek You Out

Whether you list your social networks on your resume or not, employers can easily search through your profiles. Do your posts back your prospective employer's company culture? Did you disparage a former employer in the past? What is the tone of your previous posts? Companies search for posts made by prospects but also posts from current employees to see whether current workers are assets or liabilities.

7. Vetting Candidates

If all things are equal among candidates, your online posts may give you an advantage over another prospect. This can be tricky, because if you post a different college graduation date than what's listed on your resume, your potential employer may view you as dishonest and disqualify you as a candidate. Stay consistent with your online message to build your personal brand. Make a concentrated effort to sharpen your online presence to capture the attention of employers and encourage them to invest in your skills.

8. Stakeholders Search

Stakeholders in a company also search posts to gauge investment risks. Company investors, clients, vendors and customers may withhold investments if they see inappropriate content on your profile.

9. Reputation Management

Your professional reputation is gold when it comes to seeking promotions and opportunities. Manage your online reputation well to increase your chances of moving forward in your career.

Online posts may not seem like a big deal, but even one misstep may cost you a huge opportunity. Take these tips to heart when managing your online reputation.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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