Are You Sharing Too Much?

By Angela Copeland

When it comes to job seeking, sometimes less is more. Everything we do – from the clothes we wear to our resumes to our social media accounts – says something about us. These things are pieces of our personal brands.

While looking for a job, one of your top goals should be to minimize distractions. You want your new employer to focus on your experience and the words coming out of your mouth. You don't want an interview to be derailed by a minor personal detail.

Someone once told me they didn't want to work for a company if the company didn't like them personally. This approach is OK if it's not important you find a job. But, if you need a job, you should save making friends for later.

If you've decided to move forward with pursuing new opportunities, the first thing you should do is check your social media. If you share your political or religious views, or if there are PG-13 and R-rated photos of you on your Facebook wall, it's time to check your privacy settings. Ensure only your friends can see your posts to keep employers focused on professional information on sites like LinkedIn.

Be sure LinkedIn is up to date and includes a professional looking photo of you. Leave details off your profile like birth year and marital status.

When you apply, think about the things that concern you the most. If you're afraid of appearing older for example, ensure you're using an up-to-date e-mail address like Gmail, and stay away from older emails like AOL. Consider removing your graduation years from the education section on your resume, and your oldest work experience that no longer applies.

When you're dressing for an interview, keep your clothes professional, clean, and conservative. You should steer clear of bright colors in your outfit, make-up, jewelry, or nail polish. Wear a suit with a closed-toe shoe. Keep your hair neat and clean, be clean shaven, and keep perfume and lipstick to a minimum.

While you're interviewing, think carefully about the things you choose to say about yourself. There are many questions that are illegal for employers to ask you during a job interview. The list includes things like your religion, your marital status, your age, your national origin, and any disabilities you may have. Keep this list in mind and realize that the reason companies aren't allowed to ask you about these things is they may judge you. This judgment could negatively impact your chances of getting a job. When it comes to the personal details of your life, it's often best to keep your lips sealed and focus on your career expertise.

When you're interviewing for a new career, you want to showcase your strengths. Always remember, a job interview is much like a dinner party. You never know who you may meet or what their personal values and opinions are. Do your best to minimize distractions, and you'll increase the chances of getting the job you want.

Angela Copeland is CEO/founder of Copeland Coaching,, and author of “Breaking The Rules & Getting The Job.” She also hosts the Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Copeland Coaching on Twitter (@CopelandCoach) and Facebook (