Womens Health reported that Microsoft had surveyed 2500 HR professionals and found that 70 per cent of companies have rejected job candidates because of something they found online and didn’t like. It went on to discuss a number of different ways that simple things you may say can be used against you. Especially in public forums and even blog comments. Take a read, maybe there’s something in it for you.

It got me thinking, about what I’ve put out there online. And what others do.

I’ve seen a fair bit of everything online. I’ve even had someone put their facebook profile address on a rental application. Yes, really. Goodness knows why. They liked to party and photograph it. Hardly something people tend to advertise on rental applications. It doesn’t make sense to include it. It’s about as thoughtless as I can imagine being. Actually it’s similar to the photos on your resume thing. It happens a lot. It’s meant to be a reminder of you so the potential employer won’t forget. Or proof that you make a great first impression. Totally doesn’t work to your advantage if you use a duck face selfie from your phone. Just sayin.

Now, back to the article. You’re online presence can be as simple as your email address. I’m talking to you crazyhotchicklikestoparty at gmail dot com. You too dudelovestobonechicks at hotmail dot com. Sigh. Again, this was something that I just rolled my eyes at when I was processing rental applications. Get an email address that is your name. Simple and you can give it anyone. Forward it to your dudelovestobonechicks address if you MUST. And doesn’t it get embarrassing to hand that out to people? I bet it does.

This whole thing makes me wonder about the haphazard way people post on their facebook page and twitter account. Random, damn this, curses that, she’s a cow here and there. I have seen employees share horrible, negative opinions and comments about clients, their bosses and other staff members. Things like this that you say about people reflect badly on you always. Most businesses would consider it bad press for them too. Can’t say I blame them.

And don’t even get me started on tagging. You know, checking in? My sis once checked in at my house, on facebook, exposing my home address to the friends of friends of the six people she checked in with her. I sent her a WTH text and told her to remove it. It’s my home. I don’t even check in while in my neighbourhood. I don’t want a big fat Google pin over my house. Keep this in mind on all platforms that use your location data. And consider the event too. Being tagged out at a friend’s hens party might be fun, but when the party gets messy later {whether you’re there or not} your name is still associated with that tag. Eeeeek.

Did you know your blog comments can be tracked down pretty easily? So that time you said my boss is a dick too on someone’s popular blog, it might be right there staring at anyone who Googles you. My name search on Google revealed a number of blog comments in the first 3 pages. Hence my commenting name is now Melissa {Suger}. Not that I have anything to hide. But I also don’t need anyone tracking me all over the interwebs with just my full name. Though Google SUGER and it’s all over.

While we’re on trade secrets, here’s one from my property management days. We used Google earth to check the condition of current and even previous properties. Zooming in we would investigate the yard, the condition, the number of cars. And on rural properties if there was a lot of junk around. Obviously this is just a factor in an entire application, but still. It’s very stalky, yes. But it’s a reminder that you can find almost anything online. Do you really think that snarky comment about your boss being a jerk is that tricky to track down?

I guess it’s like they’ve been saying for a while now. Big brother is watching. Pluses and minuses. Advantages and disadvantages. It is what it is. We do our best to keep our information secure. But we all make mistakes {Timeline had me posting my updates publicly for weeks before I realised} online. But it’s about playing smart, remembering that the online world IS the real world and keeping our personal standards whatever the medium.

What’s the one thing you did online before knowing better?

  • I don’t think I’ve ever said anything anyone else isn’t already saying or has already said about my workplace and I’ve never been specific with names etc, but thanks for the reminder to be careful.

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      You’re welcome. I assume, you’re relatively anonymous too. So that helps. But like anything, the info can get out there. 

  • Just another little tip to any of your readers Mel, who may have something out there that they wish wasn’t. You can flush bad stuff with good stuff, in other words create a big online presence with good things and it will push the older bad stuff back in a search. Research proves that most searchers will not bother looking at more than 2 pages in to the search.

    Yours truly lovetobonechix@i’mahotmale.com 😛

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      Excellent point Tony. Thanks for sharing. 

  • SurelySarah

    The stupid email address thing is something I get all the time at work. We always have a good laugh at ghostryder69 at ozemail dot com (yes, there are still people that use ozemail!!). Hilarious.
    You make some great points, including one I read about on JustBAustralia recently, about tagging and geotagging your posts/photos. I’m like you and NEVER check in around my own suburb – who knows who’s looking?
    Going to Google myself now, just to check my how much of my online presence is hanging out for all to see!

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      The email thing alone I coudl go on forever, I’d list them all if it wasn’t such an invasion of privacy! Haha. 

      Thanks lovely. Happy Googleing. 

  • Brilliant post. Write like your grandma is reading 🙂

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      Absolutely. 

      Thank you!

  • Rhonda Hartman

    I try to follow the rule of if I wouldn’t say it to someone’s face then I try not to post it online.  I am sure that I slip up.  However, my life is fairly tame and so I don’t really have much to hide either.

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      So true Rhonda. I often type something, delete it, type something else, delete it. All the while thinking, is THIS what I really want to say. 

      It usually isn’t. Haha.

  • I know it sounds paranoid to some, but this is one of the reasons I don’t subscribe to facebook or twitter. I had one of those “what happens at the hens party, ends up on facebook in an hour” situations and was less than impressed. Plus, even when you delete stuff from facebook, it never really disappears.
    I know I “miss out” on things sometimes, not being a part of this social media, but I’m happy to live most of my life offline 🙂

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      For sure, now there are permissions on your profile as to whether you are able to be tagged or not. I find this does wonders as I am not interested in being plastered all over the place drunk and disorderly. It might be time for a come back. Or not. Whatever. 😉