What does a goat and a mule have in common with social media?

There’s an old proverb that goes something like this: one should avoid the front of a goat, the back of a mule, and every side of a fool. If you don’t want a private message, comment or opinion printed in 60 point, bold type headlines on the front of The New York Time, you shouldn’t email it, tweet it, post it to Facebook or your blog. That’s what prompted the following advice to job seekers:

1.) Don’t post inappropriate pictures or make any comments on the web that could be offensive to anybody.  If they’re already up, delete them now!

2.) Mark all of your settings on any type of social media as private.  Don’t let people who aren’t connected to you view your pictures or read your comments.  If friends posted a ridiculous comments, delete them now!

3.) If you want to share your personal beliefs, call a friend.  Don’t share them through social media.

4.) Google yourself because future employers will.  If you find things that you don’t think a future employer would like, find a way to get rid of it!

5.) I’ve shared all of the negative things about social media but don’t forget that there are a lot of positive things too.  If you’re actively volunteering, fundraising, running a marathon, or writing a motivational blog these are all things that can help you get a job.  Make sure these are public to future employers.

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It’s just common sense and good business practice. Yet it seems missing from the American culture as people display their most private details and opinions. If you truly want to maintain private details avoid the internet entirely. But if you are using the internet for social media and emailing, remember that the internet is immediate, permanent, and global.

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