Your Permanent Record

As we all know, when growing up (at least in the United States) there was a term that would endanger our thoughts all through school: The permanent record. Only after reaching the age of eighteen did we realize: There’s no such thing.

Your “record” or your “public reputation” starts over, to be or to change as you see fit.

Until now.

On this week’s cross-threaded adventure: You’re permanent record.
My snarky remarks will be in RED. I’ll mostly snark my own thoughts though, so please don’t mind me…

A TED Education speech by Juan Enriquez: Your online life, permanent as a tattoo (

For verification of this: The Manager-Tools (Professional) MySpace and Facebook Part 1 Podcast ( And Part 2 (

Your reputation matters!
Events from the past (of course they’re from the past, you can’t go the other way!) will overtake any reputation you have tried to build for yourself in the present. Looking for a job at a big corporation? Forget it! They saw something you didn’t want them to see (drunk/naughty pictures, harsh opinions or rough words), and they have formed an opinion about you: “alcoholic-indiscreet, dangerously unaware) liability”. Employers are NEVER looking to hire liabilities! They have enough problems. With the legal environment the way it is now, it’s a wonder anyone hires anyone else!

FOR GOD’S SAKE DON’T YOU EVER POST A PICTURE OF YOURSELF WITH A BEER IN YOUR HAND!!! And certainly no naked/naughty pictures! (Yes, yes, I know, “Well DUH!”, but some folks don’t know. Some will never learn, and some will know, but do it anyway. You can’t save EVERYONE!  Just try not to live next door to them when they go off, or you’ll be saying “He was always such a quiet man…”

I know you can’t control what your friends post, but try to pass the message around: It’s PUBLIC SPACE! (I can’t make that BOLD ENOUGH!!!)

Facebook is trying to lock down what things can be seen by strangers, but that’s a problem too: An employer will perceive you as someone that’s hiding something bad. That profile page is for private use of you and your friends and family, but is it REALLY safe from view by strangers? (Let me snark this thought by saying: NO! It’s NOT!)

Sure, it’s illegal for employers and recruiters to look at prospective employees’ MySpace and Facebook page(s). They will (and do) do so anyway, and it’s impossible for you to trace. The Internet has an extremely long memory. Your stuff is OUT THERE! It’s NOT GOING ANYWHERE and you need to assume that it’s NOT private AT ALL!!!

Clean up your page!
The basic purpose of social networks is public viewing, and allows (and I’d argue: forces) people to draw conclusions. Clean it up!

Be careful of what you say, and how you say it!
Watch the language you use in your postings and pay attention to the things you respond to. Be discerning about the pages you “like“.

Keep your politics to yourself.

Your Internet presence is your PUBLIC résumé. Try to treat it with a little respect. If not, At some point it WILL Come back and BITE YOU!!!

Be careful folks. As we’ve all heard for years “The Internet is a dangerous place”.

I’ll add a short bit to the end of that: It remains so, and in ways unimagined.


Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
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Skype: charles.mccrumb
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