As anyone who has been to a Cancer and Careers event in the last year knows, I have become mildly obsessed with talking about how important it is to think about your online brand and what you are saying about your cancer online. Social media has become an incredibly important and valuable component to survivorship, providing immediate support and community but there are things to consider, including:
• Employers Google candidates just to see what comes up so make sure you know what comes up about you first
• Set privacy settings on things like Facebook so that nothing can be seen by people who aren’t “friends” (including pages you are a fan of – an often forgotten detail)
• Consider your profile picture carefully especially if it is public
• If you don’t intend to tell your current or future employers about your cancer treatment and recovery, then you need to be careful about blogging & tweeting about it because once it is on the web it doesn’t ever go away.
It has become even more crucial for working people with cancer to think about how they present themselves today (and what impact it might have tomorrow) with the announcement from Facebook that its new timeline feature will include a health and wellness status option (more info here: https://www.facebook.com/about/timeline). The more social media encourages you to share these details the more you need to think about that decision and make sure you are being mindful of both short and long term effects of having your health status public.
For more on this topic, we pulled together an article called Building and Protecting Your Online Image: http://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/looking-for-work/online-image.