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From the “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” department, I wanted to blog on some things I have noticed on professional and social networking. As someone who has had to select people for positions, I can tell you it is more important now than ever to ensure your best foot is in front of you as you represent yourself in cyber space.

There is a verse which always convicts me, for I can be guilty of being its antithesis. It is Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Eph 4:29). I would entreat everyone who has an account on any of the professional or social networks to apply this to what you post as well.

Many people become “keyboard warriors” and say things from the protection of their nickname and behind their monitor they would never say in public or to someone’s face. I try hard (and sometimes I fail) to not say anything I wouldn’t say in front of my boss or pastor or wife. Consequently, there are a lot of bite marks on my tongue. Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel. If you are a Christian, make that clear up front in your profile.

As a former Information Security Officer, I want you to remember, nothing is really private on your texts or e-mails. It is definitely not private on social networks. Here are some free tips from me to you. You must trust me on these…. We will start with your profile pictures. I have made some of these mistakes and upgraded my profile to be a little more graceful.

  1. Have grace and class. No party pics, beer bottles or swim suits; no shots at stadiums.
  2. No front seat shots. Quit thinking a selfie in the car is what makes you look cool.
  3. Cover up… nobody wants to see that while you pop your tats.
  4. Stop the Crop! If your pic shows parts of other people draped all over you, don’t use it.
  5. If you do crop from a larger pic – make sure it is a best reflection of you and you only.
  6. Don’t get too close. No one wants to see a mug shot. We need more than just your face
  7. Emulate success. Look at other people’s pics, see what you think looks good and do that
  8. Smile – Happy is as Happy does. No one wants to hire Debbie Downer.
  9. Don’t use your web cam. We can tell, and then we wonder what else you do with it.
  10. Have someone else take it, unless you really like it and it doesn’t look like a selfie.
  11. Wear your best suit/dress. No tank tops or pics of you at the gym or action shots at work.
  12. Your profile pic needs to be the best picture you have. Put everything else in an album.

One final bit of advice. Un-subscribe and remove yourself from any inappropriate web sites you may be toying with. Take down any links to goofy immature “naughty” web sites you have on your profile pages (See Ashley Madison hack). Post only positive. If you are job seeking, you need to be what “they” are looking for, not force them to accept the person you want to be on-line. Col 3:17 “Whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”