Keep Your Personal and Professional Lives Separate on Facebook

At first glance, one would not think of Facebook as a professional networking site. When I finally signed up, I was shocked at the number of business contacts that I had that were already on Facebook. I quickly learned that I had to learn how to keep professional and personal sides separate on Facebook.

When in doubt, put new friends on the Restricted list: When people request you as a friend, but you don’t remember how or where you met, you can put them on the restricted list. They can only see any posts you make public.


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Keep your Personal and Professional Life Separate on Facebook

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With these tips, you will be in the driver’s seat of your professional and personal sides separate on Facebook.



  1. Pingback: Using Social Media for Career Networking — Admissions Blog — Metropolitan College of New York
  2. Pingback: Roland’s Ramblings » Blog Archive » How to manage privacy on Facebook
  3. I’m trying to follow your instructions, but my facebook page doesn’t give me the options yours seems to. I created a friends list, but it isn’t showing up when I try to customize privacy . . . .

  4. I too created a friends list, but the “some friends” or “custom” is not showing up in options in the privacy settings.

    Any suggestions?

    1. Facebook changed its layout, therefore the location of the Privacy Settings has changed. Here are the directions to manage your settings.

      This has now been moved into it’s own post, Changes for Facebook Privacy Settings.

  5. Thank you. This is the best tutorial I’ve seen on managing Facebook relationships.
    I found just 3 lists to be adequate. Full, Limited, and Related.

  6. I have a question – how about controlling who sees your “Pages” – the ones you have become a fan of? I don’t see “Pages” as an application or as a section whose privacy I can change.

    Would be really nice to have control over this, too. (Really, really nice to have control over which, individual pages show up in your list, but that may be a bit TOO granular.)

  7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Facebook is a powerful media tool but you have to separate your personal and professional contacts.

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  9. why not just use facebook for friends/family and keep everything set to private? As far as control is concerned, it doesn’t matter how much you restrict your access because your friend may have another friend who overlooks your profile while on the same computer and view the content. not to say that facebook isn’t a nice marketing tool but there’s no fool proof method to isolate your content if you decide to place it online. don’t assume also that your media automatically disappears either once deleted from the website. bottom line? be very selective what you publish.

  10. What good is these other privacy options when all your friend lists can still view your wall posts ? Facebook needs to secure up the content meaning all your posts, comments, etc.

    Having only friends and friends of friends is not going to cut it.

  11. Help! Based on bad advice, I have created 2 other pages originating from my personal account. One is a business and the other is an organization. How do I make them into separate accounts? I have a separate e-mail available for all 3. This is huge! Thanks so much, Ken

    1. I would delete the business email addresses from the personal Facebook account. I would wait a day or two before opening a new account with the business account(s).
      As soon as you open the new accounts, become a fan or “like” your business pages from your new accounts.

      Login to your personal account and go to your pages and make the business account the admin. When you have admim control via your business admin, then it is safe to remove your personal account from it.

      Please let me know how this works out for you.

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  13. how do i make my friends know that there on VIP friends list then how do i separate them? on facebook

    1. I’m not sure what you are asking. You can tell your friends that they are on your list, but there is no online way to do so on Facebook. The lists are there for you view, not theirs. In the privacy setting you can choose what particular list members see on your Facebook profile.

  14. Stephanie,

    I have always used Facebook for personal matters only. However, more and more, I find the need to use Facebook for business (I am lawyer – I have my own law firm). What do you recommend I do to have to separate worlds? Can I have both a personal account and a business acct? I am a bit confused on this issue.

    1. Monica,

      I recommend creating a Facebook page for the firm. I also recommend using the “limited profile” list for clients, business and networking contacts. That way they can only see limited information. I hope this helps.

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