Cleaning Up Your Social Media for Potential Employers:
The Importance, Tips & Tricks, and How to Stay Professional
You might find this task to be irrelevant to landing your next job, but with the amount of hiring that is happening on social media platforms in 2018 – LinkedIn can’t be your only “professional” social platform anymore. We are going to lay out some steps that you can take to balance your social vs professional content without taking away the reason you have the platforms in the first place.
Your initial step needs to be to Google yourself – see what you can find. Did those old Spring Break 2011 pictures show up in the first three image searches? The top few hyperlinks are going to be the first impression you make on employers, so make sure they are something you want them to see. It is essential that your Google search is tidy because an employer will see the same thing you see.
Your next step is to go through and clean up those photos, statuses, tweets, and anything which you do not want anyone besides your close friends to see. There is no shame in having freedom on the internet, but if you want to keep your accounts public – there should be guidelines that you set for yourself! Find the balance of showing your interests as strengths and keep the other information private.
After those items are gone, it’s a good idea to lock your profile. This is a personal decision, but it will allow you to keep your privacy under your control! When filling out job applications, employers have the ability to see your social media profiles, so it’s important to decide which content is open to the public. If you are worried about recent posts and don’t have time to go through your profile, set heavy privacy settings to prevent the outside world from looking in.
The moral of the story is social media offers a great way to express yourself and connect with friends or family who do not live close to you, but be careful with what you’re posting. You do not know who can see the photos, statuses, and articles that are shared and what that content will mean to an employer. There is a fine line between what is seen as positive in the eyes of an employer and what is too causual. Since social media is so relevant in hiring, make sure your profile is professional looking by taking precautionary steps such as polishing your profile and activating privacy settings. These changes do not mean losing your online identity, they ensure you will be found in the best possible light. Highlight your hobbies, passions, and interests in new ways to show friends and family how much fun you’re having on the weekends. Technology has impacted hiring practices, which affects the necessary items on your checklist when on the job hunt. Take these steps seriously and you will be on your way to a great opportunity!