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Managing Your Digital Footprint

Be mindful of what you post to public places.

Some people seem to have this unusual notion that they can post literally whatever they want on the internet and no one can hold it against them. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform with your name on it, people are going to connect the things you say there to you as a person. If you’re just posting pictures of your dog or fantasizing about Benedict Cumberbatch, that’s fine. But you have to remember that your friends aren’t the only ones looking at this stuff, and it can always come back to bite you.

It’s extremely common practice these days for job recruiters to check out any social profiles they can find on a potential hire. Now, you could argue that that’s unfair, but the fact of the matter is that when you put your name on a social profile, that profile becomes a part of your personal brand. Just like a professional brand, a personal brand is something you need to be mindful of. Your brand is what says “this is who I am and what I stand for.” If that brand doesn’t gel with a company’s professional brand, they ain’t gonna hire you.

Instead of peppering your public profile with bad takes and incomprehensible memes, you should use your public profile as a means of enhancing your personal brand. Talk about your accomplishments, show how you’re enriching your own life, and occasionally post a dog picture. People like dogs. You can still post all the bad takes you want online, just make a separate account without your name and information on it.

Remember, being online doesn’t make you invisible. If anything, you’re more visible than ever, so make sure that visibility is helping you rather than hurting you.

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