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Blue Sky Resumes is a small team of professional writers and job search experts. We offer one-of-a-kind resumes, smart career advice and fantastic customer service. This is our blog.


Watch What You Say


Social media is amazing. We can think something, type it, and just like that, broadcast it to the world. Amazing!

But this ability to communicate with everyone has a downside. All too often, people feel that because they can say something, they should. I can’t count the number of smart and interesting people I’ve stopped following on Twitter because they kept sending out political missives that I neither agreed with nor wanted to hear. The same goes for overly religious content. I’m on Twitter for social and business reasons and – unless religion or politics are your actual profession and unless that’s why I’m following you – I don’t care to hear your views. But it’s not just a case of annoying people. There are times when your views may actually hurt your career. The recruiter who is researching you before passing you on to the hiring manager may violently disagree with your opinions, and that may color his or her reaction to your candidacy.

The last time I said this on Twitter, one of my followers asked: “But aren’t you always saying it’s important to be authentic? My political views are very important to me so I’m not being authentic if I hide them.” It’s a good question – but I would ask this in return: Do you routinely walk around the supermarket announcing your political opinions at the top of your voice? How about when you first meet strangers in a networking meeting – do you let them know where you stand on health care reform even though they didn’t ask? I’m guessing that you’d feel it was inappropriate to share those views in that situation, and would wait until either there was an actual discussion, or you were with people you know.

If that’s the case, why would you feel the need to broadcast your opinions on the web? Not only is it inappropriate, but – unlike shouting in the supermarket – it’s also forever. Ten years from now, your words will still be sitting there in some Internet database just waiting to potentially trip up your career.

So yes, authenticity is important, but so are social niceties. Just as you wouldn’t loudly proclaim your opposition to illegal immigration at a Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast, you probably shouldn’t do it on Twitter.

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About the Author

Louise Fletcher

Louise co-founded Blue Sky in 2002 after a career as an HR executive. Her industry experience includes music, video games, fashion and advertising. She lived and worked in the US for many years, but moved back to her native UK in 2012, where she now lives in the Yorkshire countryside. In addition to her full-time role with Blue Sky, she's a professional artist, so you can imagine why she couldn't answer the 'what do you do with your free time' question! Contact Louise by email.

5 comments on “Watch What You Say”

  1. Laurie says:

    Thanks for this post! It’s been one of my forever pet peeves that we often say things better left unsaid for the most part. Just because we CAN doesn’t necessarily mean we SHOULD … or that we’ll even be listened to, let alone heard. Well done!

  2. Louise Fletcher says:

    Thanks Laurie. You make another good point about being heard … is it really likely that you will convert anyone to your viewpoint in 140 characters? And if not, what’s the value in posting the comment. Better to go punch a pillow, or stand out in a field and yell!

  3. Sean says:

    With the freedom of free speech comes the responsibility of self-moderation.

  4. Louise says:

    Oh how true – and you said what I was trying to say, only in a lot fewer words 🙂

  5. Louise; I agree with your argument, to a point. I think it is different yelling my political views in a supermarket and posting a response on Huffington Post about my support for the ‘public option’. Yet that, it seems, is now potentially damaging to my career? I wrote a post about how this could be really damaging to people’s freedom on the internet. http://virtualjobcoach.com/blog/?p=1964

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