by Girl Banker®
Listen to the iTunes podcast instead.
What, you googled me?
I was aghast when a fellow intern went home and googled everyone he wanted to know more about. Armed with that knowledge, he came to day 2 of a training session asking personal questions. When he started asking me stuff about my family I felt violated; that was 2004.
Today, you should expect to be googled by your employer. Information is power and the more an employer can find out about you the better equipped they are to determine whether or not you fit in with the investment bank’s culture.
Your silly tweets could be the reason no one is inviting you for an interview. It may well have been funny when you were sharing it but it’s going to be a lot less humorous when all your friends are hooked up with a cushy job and you’re not.
The headline test – before you post anything think: “Would I be proud to see this shared on the front cover of The Wall Street Journal or The Financial Times?
Anger backtrack – if you’re angry, annoyed or irritated do not tweet, blog or post anything. Feel free to rant and rave about it in your personal word processor but leave it be until you are not angry and you’ll find that it was going to be one of those posts you later regretted.
De-connect – if you tweet a lot of random stuff, do not connect your twitter to your LinkedIn. You know employers and headhunters officially trawl LinkedIn profiles to find out stuff, right?
Close up – so you’re mr or ms popular: you’re the entertainment organizer at your school or university. Good for you, but that doesn’t mean you need to have an open Facebook profile. If people are actually interested in what you have to say they will friend you or subscribe to your public tweets.
Go through your personal info and carefully select what is viewable by the public. It should only be stuff that adds positive value to your employability.
Choose your friends carefully – Facebook didn’t always have the subscription button so people used to accept friends willy nilly. Personally, I don’t friend anyone that I don’t actually know.
Decide what criteria people need to satisfy to be your “friend” on Facebook and only friend those. Everyone else can subscribe to your public posts.
The funny test – the biggest temptation is to share stuff that makes us laugh. Once you’ve had a good laugh you always want to share. Making people laugh makes them like us and everyone loves to be liked.
Unfortunately, a lot of funny stuff is funny because it’s taking a stab at a certain segment of society. Before you share funny stuff, think about whether it makes you look like a misogynist, a racist, a homophobe, a pervert or whether it is persecuting a given religious group. I know a guy who had a nice job that he could have stayed in for years but ended up having to resign because he was sharing inappropriate material.
Pseudonym – you don’t have to use your real name. Even if you use a real photo of yourself if you create a pseudonym you’re going to be hard to find with google searches. If you’re working under an alias you have a lot more leeway in terms of what you tweet and share, however, keep in mind that someone in the ‘inner circle’ could betray your confidence.
Social networking is fun but we all get carried away sometimes and forget just how public cyberspace is. I am not that personal a person and I am happy to share a reasonable amount but I am extremely careful with what I post. Nonetheless I have experienced tweeter’s remorse and by the time I do, it’s already hit my LinkedIn and my Facebook because they are all connected. I not only have to delete the tweet but I have to rush and delete in all those other places also. If the post has already been shared by friends, it’s a losing battle.
Be wise to your social network.
I created my investment banking blog in 2012 as soon as I resigned from i-banking & published my book, To Become An Investment Banker.
Heather Katsonga-Woodward: On Business, Life & Everything In-Between