One of the most important things you can do... is understand
the privacy settings on the platform you're using
Twenty years ago I had just left high school. Life was great. I'd
enjoy good old fashioned boys' nights out where young male bravado was
a key feature of the evening, and we'd get up to things we didn't want
our mothers to see. But the big difference back then, compared to now,
was that unless you were actually there, no-one else would know about
it. "What happens on tour, stays on tour" was the
motto we'd all smile and joke about.
Fast forward to today. Fundamentally, Gen Y often cops a pretty bad
rap for their attitude and behaviour. But were we Gen Xers any better?
Or worse? And what about those Baby Boomers? One look at my parents
and you'd know they were up to no good. In reality, is one generation
any different from the next?
My guess is probably not. The biggest difference between then and now
is the way we communicate and record information. Everything is easier
to capture now. We have cameras in phones (thanks
to NASA), so life on the move can be recorded in an instant.
What happens on tour doesn't necessarily stay on tour. It's shared on
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, and many other digital
platforms. And unfortunately, many people of all ages don't take the
time to understand how to control their privacy online.
Why does this matter so much? Three little words - your employment prospects.
Employers are increasingly aware of how important brand reputation
is, and it shows in the recruitment process. As an
"unofficial" part of your application, more and more
employers and recruitment agencies will go looking for dirt on you.
They don't want your online antics dragging their good name through
the mud. And rightly so. So if you have photos online of you drawing
garden gnomes on the forehead of your passed out friend during last
weekend's 'night out'… chances are they could end up being a
deal-breaker. You can kiss that job interview goodbye.
This doesn't mean you should completely lock down all of your online
profiles either, because that might raise suspicion. However, one of
the most important things you can do in today's digital age of
rapid-fire communication is to understand the details of the privacy
settings on the platform you're using. Take the time to know them, and
know them well.
And once you're comfortable that your settings are properly locked
down to protect the dodgy stuff, there's nothing wrong with sharing
and posting intelligent stuff that will let a recruiter know the type
of person you are.
Oh, and if you don't want to attract instant attention for all the
wrong reasons, be mindful of your swearing. And passcode lock your
Your job prospects are already looking better!
Here's a handy list of links to privacy tutorials of the major social