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laptop_homespun_8_10RISMEDIA, August 10, 2009-‘Like Mick Jagger, you are self-centered and people either love you or hate you.’

These are the “rock star” quiz results posted for Luis, an avid Facebook user and recent UCLA graduate who’s desperately seeking an internship to extend the Brazilian native’s U.S. visa. Unfortunately, Luis’ Facebook wall is a real liability, since he regularly takes quizzes that broadcast the least admirable of all his personality traits. He’s a financial whiz kid and a fast learner, but there’s no proof of that on his wall.

Nance Rosen, a social media communication consultant, recounts another Facebook quiz with a different implication. “My former student Kristine, a newly divorced mom trying to restart her career as a spinning instructor, just popped up on my wall with a ‘what snack food are you’ quiz, which described her as a warm and spicy pizza roll. The results act like a great testimonial,” says Rosen who adds, “Kristine’s personal warmth and ability to keep things interesting are a huge part of keeping clients motivated, and it’s easy to see why she would attract new gym members.”

Social media sites were launched so millions of people could stay connected to their friends (and founders could enjoy the buyout payday). Because Facebook’s origin is the college and university environment, the kiss and tell nature of the friends’ walls may never die. “Even the fact that Facebook users are called ‘friends’ leads people to let down their guard, perhaps a little too much,” comments Rosen. That’s not a problem if everyone on the site is doing the same thing, she notes.

However, like a sober dean at a drunken fraternity bash, someone’s watching the antics and isn’t always amused. Job recruiters, prospective clients and even investors are visiting Facebook, Twitter and the whole complement of social media sites for one thing: to learn more about the people they’re thinking of trusting with their money.

Tips for managing your social media presence:

-Delete any material you wouldn’t want seen by an employer or client.
-Create posts and albums that communicate the fun side of your personality, but not the out-of-control person you might be when you’re with your BFFs.
-Take quizzes to show off a talent or experience you want broadcast. For example, if you’re a world traveler, a 100% score on a quiz about little known rock climbing sites could lead to scoring a big job with an adventure travel company.