How to make a positive online image on Facebook

4 03 2010

As you all probably know, I’m one of millions of people with a Facebook. (It’s probably one of the sites I frequent most). And being a professional, I want to be sure my profile on there says, well, professionalism.

Maybe you haven’t thought about it much, but what you put on Facebook and other social networking sites affects how people, especially professionals and potential employees, see you. So, in my opinion anyway, your online profiles should portray you in a good light. Here are some ways to help you can create and/or reinvent your online rep:

  • Use a tasteful profile picture. It’s probably the first thing people see when clicking on your Facebook page, so be sure you are actually in the photo (unless, of course, it’s Doppleganger week or something). Secondly, make sure the picture is tasteful: You on vacation in your swimsuit? Okay. You in your bedroom with sexy lingerie on? Not so much- save that for your significant other or something. And finally, be sure the picture is big enough so people will actually recognize you.
  • More on photos. Watch which ones you post and the ones others tag you in. You shouldn’t have photos of you passed out drunk or of you and that guy making out at a party. One way to decide if your pics are appropriate: Ask yourself if you’d want your grandmother to see it. If not, take it down or untag yourself if it’s not yours.
  • Do include personal info. Facebook has places for you to include your interests, activities, favorite music and more, so be sure to add those. Just make sure it’s true and in good taste (i.e., don’t tell everyone that one of your activities is “clubbing every night”- even if it’s true, it’s not really a good look). And when writing, please, please, please use correct English- dnt writ lik dis. We don kno wht u tlkn bt.
  • Use your statuses wisely. There’s a thin line between venting about your workday and telling all your business. And if you’re my FB friend, you’ll notice I try to keep my statuses positive, although I do have some that are less-than-optimistic. My point is  that while it’s okay to vent sometimes (as long as you don’t mention names or workplaces, limit profanity, don’t tell us every little thing that happened in your day and how much your life sucks), you shouldn’t make it a habit because, hey nobody wants to read all that.
  • Rememer that everything on the web is public. And just because you’ve set your page as private, pretty much anyone could eventually access it. For instance, somebody could copy and paste what’s on your page and send it to someone else. Or a friend could pull up your page and show it to someone you may not know. So, think about any and everything you post.

Feel free to add any tips you have, too!

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3 responses

4 03 2010
Toni

Good posts. So many people put any and everything on their pages. You never know who’s watching. I’ve always used the grandma test in regards to any social site I’m on. Especially since my Mom is my friend on FB, follower on Twitter and reads my notes/blogs. Plus there’s nothing cool about posting the bad online.

5 03 2010
{JeLisa} @ Blogging Ever After

Great points!

I think people forget that Facebook is a representation of who you are, and an easy way to make yourself look unattractive – or, to your point, unprofessional. I wish more people approached their profile with that in mind. :/

5 03 2010
Jamie Fleming

@Toni- People do let it all hang out on FB, and I’ve been noticing it a lot more lately, and I agree with you- nothing good can come from posting drama and gossip on there.

@ {JeLisa}- You’re right, people do forget that FB and other social networking sites represent you. What you post either makes people think positively or negatively of you, and I don’t think people get that.

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