The benefits of keeping a low profile

An insight from the team at Morgan Young

“The shelf life of social media posts can outlast an executive’s entire career.”

It’s a sobering message from Mintz Group managing partner Peter Lagomarsino in a recent article* he wrote about the social media footprints of executives and how they can hinder future recruitment aspirations despite ongoing debate over data privacy, public interest and free speech.

The line between public and private domains is incredibly fine in our hyper-connected world, but when representing a high-profile brand, there is little tolerance of private views in conflict with, or potentially damaging to the integrity or reputation of the brand or its clients.

Data about you is freely available. An online comment shared three years ago, which might have included bad language, even in jest, can still be easily found, and frowned upon. Personal information or a political view could be in just as much conflict with a potential employer’s personal views as their corporate social media policy.

Considering the rapid uptake of existing and new online platforms and their incredible reach (500 million tweets are sent every day or 200 billion per year!), means an individual’s exposure is increasing.

While in the future, legislators may be able to protect you from fallout from previous online indiscretions [in the European Union, a court ruling has found individuals can request search engines to delete outdated or inaccurate information], taking the long-term impact of your online activity seriously may save face and open doors when trying to acquire new roles.

It’s far better to err on the side of caution than listen to the door of a recruitment opportunity closing because of an online post you made in 2012.

The quickest way to see how you portray online is to do a Google search of your name. Cultivating an indiscretion-free online presence is sure to favour your future prospects.

* “Executive Talent”, quarterly AESC, Issue 5, 2015