What image are you portraying on Facebook? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

If a company is thinking about investing thousands of dollars into you by hiring you, you better believe that they are going to stalk you online to learn as much about you as possible.

Back in 2005, my younger brother, Matt, was interviewing for a summer internship position with a small PR firm in Philadelphia.  Since the company only had 6 employees, the President of the agency conducted interviews with potential interns.

Midway through the interview with my brother, the President looked at Matt and said, “Can you explain the following quote from your Facebook page to me?  On your page, you wrote ‘It’s not that I’m lazy.  It’s that I just don’t care.’  What did you mean by that?”

In case you have not seen the movie Office Space, that is a line from Peter Gibbons, the lead character of the movie (see above picture). 

My brother is actually one of the hardest working people I know, and he was just trying to be funny.  However, the person interviewing him was not laughing.  My brother ultimately got rejected for that position.

Here is the scariest part of that story.  My brother’s Facebook page was set to “private,” and the President of the company did not even have an account on Facebook.  (This was in 2005 when less than 5 million people were on the social networking web site; today, more than 500 million people use the site.)  The President was able to access my brother’s page through one of his interns who happened to be Facebook friends with my brother.  Through his intern, the hiring person had access to every quote, comment, wall post, and picture on my brother’s page.  Yikes…

Setting your Facebook page to private is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough.  With over 500 million people on Facebook and with most young professionals having hundreds of “friends,” it’s not a stretch to believe that a hiring person can find someone they know who is friends with you.  Once they find someone who has access to your page, they can then see EVERYTHING on your page.

It amazes me what people post on their pages for the world to see.  I have a friend who posts new pictures of himself weekly where he is either flexing with his shirt off and/or drunk at a party.  He looks like he’s trying to get cast on season 3 of the Jersey Shore!  Another one of my Facebook friends recently used extremely vulgar language when describing her ex.  Another friend often bashes her boss and colleagues through her wall posts.  I could go on and on and on.  Their online behavior certainly isn’t helping their chances of getting hired or promoted. 

In summary, you don’t’ need to be 100% buttoned-up online, but you do need to be smart about how you portray yourself to the world.

Don’t let one comment, quote, or picture be the reason you get rejected or fired from your dream job!  Keep everything on your Facebook page respectable, or prepare to be disrespected, unemployed and underpaid…

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises




Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com


P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for the 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com. 

Explore posts in the same categories: Facebook, Get Your Dream Job NOW, Personal Branding, Social Media

One Comment on “What image are you portraying on Facebook? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)”

  1. […] up your Facebook page.  Facebook also ranks very high when someone searches for you online.  As I have written before, employers will definitely be checking you out on Facebook as well.  Keep your Facebook page set […]

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