Tweet Carefully

I read USA Today when I travel. Most hotels deliver it to my room. Sometimes I find some great career success advice in it. That was the case last Thursday. The front page of the Sports section had an article entitled “Athlete Tweets Often Create Grief.”

The article quotes Gil de Zuniga of the University of Texas Journalism School…

“The misuse of Twitter is due to a lack of understanding of the power of social media. If you were in the middle of a public square, you wouldn’t yell something you might post on Twitter. But in reality when you tweet that’s what you’re doing. That’s hard to understand when it’s you and the keyboard. There’s a sense of intimacy and anonymity.”

The article went on to say, “In the NBA and NFL newcomers are lectured on the dangers of social medial at educational rookie camps in the preseason.” Most of us never get that type of training. As I’ve said on several occasions on the blog, “Like a diamond, the internet is forever.” Just ask Andrew Weiner. Last week, the New York Post had a two page spread showing the tweets he exchanged with a Las Vegas blackjack dealer. It was like reading a transcript of a phone sex conversation.

Prospective employers will google you. When they do, your tweets and Facebook posts will pop up. If you want to position yourself in a positive way, you need to pay attention to what you tweet. As much as it might seem to be fun to tweet that you got hammered at a friend’s wedding, think twice before you hit the send button.

Tweet 67 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Demonstrate self respect. Be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line.” Google yourself. See what comes up. If it’s something embarrassing, or something you wouldn’t want your employer to see, make sure you remove it. This holds true for your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Be just as impeccable in your on line presentation of self as you are in person.

A while back I did a blog post about a young guy who wrote to me asking if I could delete a comment he made on a blog that I no longer publish. He was looking for a job and thought that his comment might have a negative impact on his search.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t. It was a blog I wrote for a content consolidator who is no longer in business. I couldn’t access there defunct servers. But, this guy’s comment still came up when he googled himself. Let this be a career advice lesson. Once you post something on the internet, it can be very difficult to take it back.

OK – enough of that. I’m sure you get the message. Don’t post stuff on the internet that may embarrass you later. Now for some constructive career advice. If you have some embarrassing stuff on the internet, the best way to fix the problem is to add information that presents you in a positive light.

Comment on blog posts about your industry. Show that you have an understanding of the issues. Tweet about your accomplishments at work, or where you volunteer. Post positive messages on your Facebook page. Comment on others’ posts that are positive. In other words, while you can’t eliminate some embarrassing information on the internet, you can minimize it by posting ideas and thoughts that present you in a positive manner.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense. Your tweets can creative a negative image. On the other hand, your tweets can also create a positive image for you. Follow the career advice in Tweet 67 in Success Tweets. “Demonstrate self respect. Be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line.” Pay attention not only to your physical appearance but to your on line persona. Present yourself on line as the career success you are.

That’s my career advice on managing your on line presence. What do you think? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment. As always, thanks for reading my daily thoughts on life and career success. I value you and I appreciate you.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, you can download a free copy of my latest career success book Success Tweets Explained. It’s a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail. Go to to claim your free copy. You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

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