Separating Your Personal and Professional Life Online

We have all come across that person who just shares WAY too much on social media. I mean really, do you think we care what your eating, watching on Netflix, and that you “ordered a burrito and they forgot the Guac! Worst. Day. Ever.”… Because…(sorry not sorry), most of us really don’t.

However, can the stuff you share online come back to bite you in your professional life? ABSOLUTELY.

Here are a few tips and reasons why you may want to consider dividing your online presence into two sections.


Privacy settings are the best.  If you are using a social platform to post personal photos (like family events, relaxing with friends, that perfect gym selfie, or drinking more than a glass of wine) you should definitely have that account on private. Keeping your personal accounts private allows you to have a little more freedom in terms of the types of content you share – however – you have to remember the Internet is never truly private.

Posts can be shared, screen-captured, and passed around to people you never gave access to your accounts. So it’s always best practice to never post or say anything online that you would be mortified if your Mother/Boss saw one day.

If you work in a field where having an online presence is important – it can be a great idea to create a separate public account. This account is a way to display yourself online in the best way possible – while still letting future employers and your professional network get to know you on a (slightly) personal level.

Be Found Online

The workforce today is very different than in our parent’s day. Now, many employers (80%!) admit that they lookup applicants online before hiring or even inviting them to an interview.  

You might think that being a ghost online is a good thing – but this isn’t always the case. If a potential employer Google’s you and NOTHING comes up – this can be a major red flag. Usually, it means one of two things (and neither are good!).  1: that you are hiding something and don’t want to be found online. 2. That you are out of date and out of touch with the current times.

On the flipside – if your name comes up with tons of unprofessional content, this is also a major red flag for employers.

You want positive things to come up when someone Google’s you. LinkedIn is a great platform for this, as it can backup your resume beautifully. However, it is always great to have a PG personal account come up – so that they can see you are a real person who participates online in a totally respectable way.

Create Your Best Self

One of the best (and worst) parts about social media is how easy it is to manipulate. You can create a picture of your life that is totally different from reality (or at least not a full picture of your life) and that is completely okay! We don’t share the boring moments in our life, or the mundane tasks we do on the daily. Social media lets you share fun, interesting, extravagant, or relatable moments in our lives.  

For a public/professional profile this is great. You can share content that is related to your field, impressive accomplishments, major milestones, and appropriate lifestyle posts.

Having public profiles is a great chance to portray yourself in the best light possible, while still letting your professional network that you are real person outside of work hours.  


Do you have personal and professional social accounts online? We would love to hear from you, help you get on track, and put your best foot forward in the online world.


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