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Social Media

On April 1st, 2000, Google announced the launch of a new online product called MentalPlex, a computer program that could read your mind.

It was of course a joke. But as the technology has improved over the years Google is getting better and better at coming up with ways to not only come up with what you need, but things you didn’t even know you wanted to look for.

Most people have Googled themselves at some point. Come to think of it, most people have Googled themselves lots of times, to say nothing of friends and family members – and of course probably lots and lots of complete strangers. Maybe you are reading this because you Googled ‘Toronto CA recruitment’ or something like that.

So you have to assume, at some level, that if you’re looking for a job, and particularly if you’re at the stage of getting interviews, that there’s a good chance your prospective employers are looking you up on the internet (you’re probably looking them up too).

One of the things we always remind people of is to be careful what you make public on web. It seems obvious not to put anything out there on, say, Facebook or Instagram or Twitter that you wouldn’t want a prospective employer (or employee) to see. But that doesn’t mean mistakes don’t happen.

Do you have very strong political views which you like to express freely on Twitter? No problem, but protect your Tweets. By doing so, your Tweets will only be visible to users you have approved. BUT if you did have public Tweets at one time, those Tweets will always be public and searchable, even after you change your settings to ‘protected’.

Or maybe you like to record for posterity every gourmet hamburger you eat on Instagram. Hey, that’s cool, but set it to private. We advise people to consult the privacy policy for each social media tool they use to understand what happens with the information they put online.

Remember, if you remove information that you posted, copies may remain viewable in cached and archived pages. It is much more prudent to think twice before you post rather than trying to erase an ill-advised Tweet or photo. It’s not so much that it’s wrong or unseemly to put this stuff out there in the world, but it can change people’s impressions of you – or at the very least confuse the professional you with the private you.

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