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Don't let Facebook Cost You a Job

     Like most people my age (40s), I've discovered the joys of Facebook. Every party I've been at lately, friends ask me to take photos to post on Facebook. (It's become a brag book of sorts!) While I love using Facebook to stay in touch with friends, old and new, I do think carefully about what I write on my page because I have a number of co-workers and even a boss as a friend.

      Here's the risk: A Facebook post criticizing his employer, the Philadelphia Eagles, cost a stadium operations worker his job, according to a story in The Philadelphia Inquirer. "I shouldn't have put it up there," Dan Leone said, according to the Inquirer. "I was ticked off, and I let my emotions go..."

     Yes, employees really are getting sacked for venting about their jobs on Facebook. The Movin' On Up blog has some great tips for using restraint on Facebook. The key bits of advice are know your friends (choose carefully), avoid talking about workplace specifics, and control your emotions. My tidbit of advice is know the difference between sending someone a private message and posting a message on their very public wall. (I've seen some pretty embarrassing stuff lately.)

    While you and I are having fun on Facebook, employers increasingly are using it to check up on current and potential employees. People are being disciplined at work and have missed out on job opportunities due to comments they have left on Facebook. Here are some suggestions from the DumbLittleMan blog for cleaning up your Facebook profile: Check your privacy settings, consider limiting access only to friends, consider removing tags from photos, keep your language clean, refrain from using Facebook at work (your actions are time-stamped).

      The next time I get ready to post something to my profile, add a co-worker as afriend, or vent online, I'm going to think twice. How about you? Have you had any Facebook disasters?