hiding / solving a mistake with correcting fluidWe’re living in a day and age when the internet is an inevitably large part of our lives in a number of different ways. Naturally, it’s a huge part of how you keep tabs on your social life or unwind after a long week. It’s also probably a huge outlet for you when it comes to expressing yourself and cutting loose.

However, it’s important to always remember that the internet is a smaller world than you realize. The person you are in front of your Facebook friends or your Twitter followers can easily run into a potential new boss if you’re job hunting right now. Here are some mistakes to avoid in order to prevent making a bad impression:

1. Leaving your profile completely unlocked

In this day and age, you really can’t be too careful with your personal information. That’s why it’s always a good idea to leave social networking profiles locked to strangers. Not only will this prevent a potential new boss from snooping without your knowledge, but it’s also safer in other regards as well. Locking your profile gives you complete and total control over who can see the details of your private life and who can’t.

2. Complaining about work

One of the biggest mistakes many people make in regards to their social networking profiles is using their profiles as a sounding board to complain about their working situation, their co-workers, their boss, or maybe just work in general. We can’t emphasize enough what a terrible impression this makes on a potential new employer, even if you’re not talking about them. They’ll see your attitude as an indicator of what they can expect from you if hired, so think twice before posting those snarky comments about the daily grind. They could prevent you from getting hired somewhere else.

3. Bragging about things you get away with

Another huge mistake many people make is using social media to brag about bad behavior, such as getting away with lying, illegal behavior, or skipping out on work or obligations like jury duty. This doesn’t make you look like the trustworthy, forthright individual you want employers to see you as. Also, acting this way can easily get you in trouble with loved ones, friends, co-workers, or even the law; so, it’s best not to do it at all, even on a locked profile.

4. Setting unprofessional pictures as your avatars

Sure, maybe you think that avatar photo of you drunk in the gutter is hilarious for whatever reason, but is that really what you’d want a potential employer to see if they decide to peep your profile on Facebook or Twitter? The sooner you start thinking of your social networking life as an extension of your real life, the better. This is especially the case if you want to move up in your field and be taken seriously. Instead of silly party pictures, pick nice looking, professional photos that present you as the competent individual you know you really are.

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