What advice would you provide to friends, colleagues and family members as they prepare for an interview when they have a social media site? What should they do if there are unflattering pictures of them on other individuals social media sites? 

Expert Answers

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The issue of pictures and posts on social media sites is a very important one today as many employers want to examine what applicants have posted on such sites.  The question of what to do here is a tough one.  My advice would be as follows:

First, people who are going to be job hunting should try to increase their privacy and scrub the sites of harmful pictures as much as possible.  For example, they should change their privacy settings to “Friends Only” on Facebook before they start applying for jobs.  They should also untag themselves in the unflattering pictures to make it harder to find those pictures.

Second, they should have a strategy for answering any questions about pictures that do end up getting seen.  They need to be able to explain why those pictures are not important.  For example, they might want to explain the circumstances of the pictures.  They might then want to say that those pictures were taken at a time when they were not working for a firm and therefore did not need to be protective of their image.  They can argue that they would be a good employee and that the conduct in the pictures would not have harmed their ability to work in any way.

Of course, it is best if they can simply not have the pictures up at all so they can avoid having to explain. 

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