The economy continues to tank. Unemployment where I live is close to 12%. If you were to count those who are not eligible for unemployment, it could be close to 20%. There is no shortage of advice on job boards and other networking venues on how to conduct one’s search and professional life.

I believe there’s a certain paranoia that some “experts” are actually encouraging. I’ve read some articles and message board postings that have people questioning almost everything about their lives. Should I post my picture on LinkedIn if I’m over 50 or a racial minority? Should I scrub my Facebook profile? Delete my religious and political affiliations?

I especially want to address the Facebook issue. I have read dire warnings (cue the ominous sounding music) that since everything you post online is there FOREVER (which is true), you had better post with extreme caution.

Nothing on line should ever mark you as ever being anything other than the perfect model corporate worker bee. You even sleep in your three piece suit!

Using Facebook to share with family and friends? No, we can’t have that. A vehicle for self expression? There will be NONE OF THAT! Those Cabo pictures? Gone! (and sternly warn your friends to never, ever tag you in a photo). You are a citizen concerned about political issues? You’d best get that, as well as any groups you belong to, off your profile. After all, Mr. or Ms. Hiring Manager may have a different point of view, and make a paper airplane out of your resume. That church (synagogue or mosque) function you were at? Better get rid of those, pronto!

What about that Beatles song you posted? Well, if you remember the Beatles you are obviously old and unemployable. You have pictures of your grandchildren? Better dump them lest Ye All Powerful HR Person will realize you are old enough to have grandchildren! Mentioned your divorce? Well, this company is about family values, you wouldn’t fit (though the successful candidate will work 80 hour weeks).

When did the job search go from a company looking for someone to solve a problem to this game of jumping through all the right hoops?

What if a potential employer goes to my Facebook page and finds out they could hire a real human being who is fully engaged, has opinions, and has a life, rather than being an automaton? Is it possible I might still qualify to work for you?

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