Career Woman

You’ve got this: Cleaning up your social media profiles

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Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew answers your questions, putting her years of experience and practice into the goal of solving those knotty problems that beset us, and assuring us: ‘you’ve got this’. If you’d like Froswa’ to look at your particular problem, email it to[email protected].

I’m worried about my social media profiles and whether they might affect my career. Do bosses (and recruiters) actually bother to look at these things. And if so, what should I be showing/deleting?

Sally-Anne McKinnon

Sally-Anne:

I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of high school females for Women’s History Month.  This question came up multiple times.  One of the panelists shared a story that involved an incident when she was younger.  Her motive was well-intended but the event was videoed and several years later, she is dealing with the aftermath of the incident being viewed by millions.  I reminded the group that all of us are the sum total of our decisions.  Every single day, we are making small decisions that build on one another and become the foundation for our lives.  Will we mess up?  Definitely, but there are some decisions that we cannot do-over as one of the panelists stated.  This goes for some of our social media posts.

There are celebrities who have lost opportunities lately because of posts that were written years ago that have come back to haunt them.  It is quite possible that they’ve changed considerably.  There are individuals that deleted posts that had others had taken a screenshot of that were later reposted.  Even when we believe our pages have privacy settings, that doesn’t mean that those on our pages do not have the ability to copy or photo our content.  Apps like SnapChat that promise to disappear have provided evidence in many court cases. For some reason, there is a belief that we have so much privacy but in the world of social media, we do not.  As the mother of a young adult, I am reminding my daughter constantly, you must be careful with what you retweet.  You are creating a digital footprint and providing a profile of who you are whether you realize it or not.

I remember meeting a lady who was an HR Director that confirmed that despite privacy settings, she had a back-door option to review the pages of applicants.  So yes, those in hiring positions often conduct searches online of candidates.  Ask yourself the following to determine what you should post or remove:

  • Is this post something that I will be proud of ten years from now?
  • If I were a stranger and read my post, with no knowledge of my background, personality, etc., is there a possibility that I could be offended or decide this isn’t a person I want to engage with further?
  • Does this post have the propensity to keep me from reaching my goals?

I’m sure there are those that will disagree and tell you that you have freedom of speech so type away, keyboard warrior!  They are absolutely correct.  You also must know that this freedom does not eliminate consequences from your actions.  The fact that you are thinking about this says that you are aware of the possibilities.  You have the power to make decisions that are in your best interests.  You. Got. This.

About Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew is a Partnership Broker. Relational Leadership Junkie. Connector. Author/Speaker/Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle. She been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. In addition, she has been asked to speak on a variety of topics such as social capital and networking, leadership, diversity, and community development to national and international audiences. This included serving as a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. One of the most impactful life events for her was being a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that followed a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. Honors for her work include: Semi-finalist for the SMU TEDx in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Graduating with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change, she also attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations, and is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last as well as a writer for several publications around the globe.

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