- The Washington Times - Monday, November 30, 2009

Don’t you hate it when people say, “I told you so”? Well, I told you so - I warned you, more than once, about what you post on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and all those other social networking sites.

I use Facebook every day and think networking sites are great for job seekers, but be careful what you and your friends post. Also, recheck the e-mail address you’re using for business. Is it cutesy, or is it something simple, like your name?

Check out this news story, posted on Yahoo! News: “Canadian woman loses benefits over Facebook photo.

“Bromont, Quebec | A Canadian woman has been on long-term sick leave from her job for the last year. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported that she was diagnosed with major depression and was receiving monthly sick leave benefits from her employer’s insurance company. But, the payments dried up this fall after the insurance company informed her that she was available to work because of Facebook. The insurance agent described several pictures posted on Facebook, including ones showing her having a good time at her birthday party, and on a beach holiday. She was told that it is evidence that she is no longer depressed. She is fighting to get her benefits reinstated, and the insurance company did say that they would not deny or terminate a claim based solely on sites such as Facebook.”

But, still, I’m just saying: Be careful. Be cautious. Potential employers and current employers are watching.

Be aware that Facebook understands that job seekers need control of their online image. It is offering a new service: Face Alerts.

Facebook.com uses facial-recognition technology to scan newly uploaded photos automatically and continuously within a user’s social network. The user is then alerted via Facebook notification, e-mail or both when his or her face is found in a photo, even if it is not tagged. This puts the power back in the hands of Facebook users, enabling them to be the first to take action to hide, or share, embarrassing photos.

For more information on Face Alerts from Facebook, contact Facebook.com.

Regardless of the media, if you are searching for a job or wanting to keep one, be careful what you say and how you look in photos. Like dressing for an interview, you need to be professional, yet understated. People are watching and listening.

c Marvin Walberg is a job-search coach. Contact him at mwalberg(at)bellsouth.net, marvinwalberg.blogspot.com, or PO Box 43056, Birmingham, AL 35243.


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