Matter Chatter

You Want to See My What?

During an interview, one of the inquiries you can always count on hearing no matter what the position or company is “So, tell me a little more about yourself.” Seems simple enough compared to some of the others questions you may have just fielded, right? Talk about your background, some of your hobbies, what brought you into your field, etc. However, many times employers are left feeling like they haven’t gotten the full picture, that they haven’t really gotten to know you well enough yet. To help fill in the blanks, many companies are now turning to a familiar source: Facebook. More so than that, some interviewers are even asking for Facebook passwords on the spot to look at your profile.

Whether or not you agree with this (it is legal as of now), it could eventually become part of the regular job interview process. In today’s social media driven world, nothing is really kept private and those of us in communication fields like public relations need to pay special attention to what we say at all times. Now while we don’t have to all run and delete our pages, below are some helpful tips to keeping your Facebook personal enough, but most importantly professional.

Maintain Privacy Settings
Whether you are interviewing for a position or you’re currently employed, at some point a company will look up your Facebook profile. Make sure if you haven’t separated your personal and professional posts, you do so as soon as possible by adjusting privacy settings, and even consider making an entirely separate professional account.

If you Have to Question it, Don’t Post it
While social media can be a great outlet for personal expression, not every post is appropriate for your colleagues to see. If you wouldn’t want your Mom to see pictures from this weekend, you certainly don’t want your boss to. This goes for posts too, as while everyone is entitled to their opinion you wouldn’t want to risk possibly offending someone, especially a client.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Facebook to Your Advantage
Facebook can be a great tool for public relations professionals and their clients. Be sure to “like” your favorite writer, become a “fan” of your favorite publication, or share an interesting article you read. You can help connect to consumers in your clients industries by running contests or fielding questions on their pages. The site was made to help connect us all, so take advantage!

While we’ve certainly all had the phrase “be careful what you put on Facebook” engrained into our brains, let’s remember that it can also be an essential tool for today’s public relations professional! Would you add any tips for keeping Facebook professional? What do you think about employers asking for your password?