A recent article in Forbes magazine cautions job seekers to think twice before they publish a photo to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and blogging sites.  Employers are (and have been) using social media sites and services that scour the sites to screen potential job candidates.  This means if you are applying for a teaching position (for example) and just threw up 22 new photos of you doing a fire dance while shooting tequila shots wearing a skimpy outfit, you may be in trouble.

A company named Social Intelligence just got the green light from the FTC to essentially mine and serve up data that it collects for up to seven years. Employers can purchase a report on a potential job candidate and get the bottom line on who they are based on their activity / behavior on social media sites.  So, even if you delete that photo before you interview for the job, odds are, someone grabbed it and stored it.  It’s very important and sobering to remember this: Google Never Forgets, nor does Social Intelligence (except after 7 years), etc..

Here are a few tips on keeping your online image squeeky clean:

* Think twice before you upload any photo.  Ask yourself if it would be appropriate to a potential employer, or if it is appropriate based on your current job.

* Think twice before you post a snide or potentially offensive comment or perspective on a trending news topic.

* Think twice before you align yourself on social networks with controversial figures with radical beliefs or perspectives.

* Think twice before you broadcast your crazy shenanigans and how many beers you shotgunned last evening.

* Think twice before you bad mouth your boss, co-workers, HR folks, etc.. Existing employers also keep their eye on your social media activity.

To learn more about what type of information is available about you online, be sure to check out this article from Forbes.

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