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Personal branding on social networks > General Social Networks: The concept of first impressions has changed

General Social Networks: The concept of first impressions has changed

"The first impression is so important. There are no second chances."

Until recently the importance of first impressions fell on a CV Resume or the image in an interview. Check your spelling, use good quality paper, no more than 2 pages in length, don't use heavy perfume, shake hands firmly... these are some of the thousand pieces of advice that, while still valid today, no longer make up the first impression.

According to a recent study, 48% of Human Resource managers in Spain are recruiting through the Internet, with the number reaching 80% in the USA. What does the network say about you?

It's possible that over the years, before you started looking for a job or making your personal brand, you have left small footprints on the Internet that you don't feel proud about: that blog about your teachers at school, the photolog of all your university parties...

Have you deleted them? Why go down the "digital trail" if the web can harm us? You should get used to keeping a list of the places you go to, and when you no longer use them or need them deactivate or delete your account. It's true the Internet leaves a trail... but don’t make it easy to find.

With the Internet it's not just what we have to say about ourselves that’s visible; anything that others say about us can be seen as well. This can be one of the traps of general networks such as Facebook: the network allows friends and acquaintance to freely publish what they want and it will appear on your profile page. With this, we run the risk that someone might put unfavourable comments or photos on our page, and this could drive away potential employees.

The way around this is to know about, and use, the privacy and security settings available on each social network. The options on Facebook are fairly sophisticated and advance every day.

Facebook : 5 things you can do to control the first impression

1. Put your friends in lists: It's not a bad thing having your mother, best friend, teacher on Facebook but... we can all agree that they shouldn't have the same information. Having your contacts in separate lists is key to preserving your Facebook image. To do this, go on to your friend's page and create lists with whatever name you want. Your friends won't know what list they're in.

2. Personalise the privacy of your profile (Account, Privacy settings, Custom settings): You can control who sees your profile and what parts they see. In the part called Connecting on Facebook you can decide who can see your contact information and who can send you messages.

3. Establish the level of privacy for your photo albums: Because there are some images that aren’t right for everyone to see and... as you know sometimes a picture is worth a 1000 words. If you have already made the lists, it will be easy to decide who can see each album. Go to your albums, select edit albums and the privacy options will be there.

4. Restrict the visibility of searches: You can choose exactly what appears when you search your name on Facebook (which is most likely how your potential employer will look for you) Modify this information in Account- Privacy settings- Apps and websites- Public Search.

5. Establish the privacy of your wall: Decide if you want your friends to publish on your wall, and more importantly, who can see what your friends do publish there. To configure the privacy settings of your profile, you will also configure the options for "controlling how you share", where you can specify if you want your friends to publish on your wall, and which of your friends can see the messages.

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