Ways to Keep Your Private Life Separate From Your Professional Life Online

If you are using your online social media profiles to promote yourself to find jobs then you are way ahead of most people.  Most people are just playing games and goofing off. And that is ok if you don't add anyone who might ever want to hire you or might know of someone that wants to hire you.

But, online networks can be a great way of getting job leads so it is a good thing to use them to help you find a job.  If you do though, you have to be professional.

Here are some tips to keeping your private life and your professional persona separate when you are online:

  • If you use Facebook you have two choices - learn to use the privacy settings to keep your personal stuff private or forward business contacts to a Facebook Page.  If you add business contacts to your Facebook profile you will need to be extra careful about who has permission to see photos and status updates.  It definitely takes a bit more work.  If you're not up for the upkeep, you can create a Facebook Page where you can lead business contacts.
  • Twitter - either keep your Twitter feed completely business like or have two Twitter accounts.  If you have two accounts, one should be under a pseudonym and locked and visible only to people you approve (friends) and the other should be under your real name and be strictly business - no tweets about the awesome party you were at on the weekend. 
  • LinkedIn - This one should be strictly business. You can use tools to import your Twitter feed but make sure you are only using your professional Twitter.
  • Bookmarking - If you use bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Delicious, Digg or other similar sites make sure that you are only bookmarking things that you would want your business contacts to see if the account is in your real name.  If you are using a psuedonym, make sure that you do not connect it with your professional accounts.