Creating a sharp resume and landing an interview are not the only things you should prepare for throughout your job hunt. In today’s world, your online reputation is just as important as your offline one. Your future employer will more than likely track down the digital footprints you’ve left behind. If the thought of this frightens you, cleaning up your social media profiles such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn should be one of the first things on your to-do list! Here are just a few tips to survive social media scrutiny from future employers:
Remember, a picture speaks a thousand words…. The way you present yourself online is essentially the way you brand your image. If you haven’t done so already, it is time to delete your party photos! Your potential employer wants to hire a responsible adult, someone who is reliable to show up to work on time, and a person who can represent their company well. Sloppy photos of you consuming alcohol and having a blast on the dance floor do not convey the kind of messages a prospective employer wants to see. Before submitting your job application, make sure your photos represent your public image as a seasoned professional and that you have chosen images that you wouldn’t be embarrassed of.
Keep things consistent and tidy by making sure your bio information best represents who you are and what you do. Include your full name, your most up-to-date educational background, and current location. Also make sure your bio content is consistent amongst all profiles. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you should also be sure to include an enticing headline and a summary of your education, skills, and experience. For more on LinkedIn, this site has some great tips on how to market yourself.
If you have multiple accounts and find you are neglecting certain profiles over the others, it may be time to delete a few. This especially goes for old accounts that you no longer use!
In addition to making your past posts private, be sure to privacy-proof your future as well! To maintain your privacy, it’s important to make sure all your settings are set to friends only. Sites like Facebook change their settings often. You can follow these steps to ensure your Facebook profile is ready for future employers to see.
5. Search Yourself
Most of us don’t know everything that is published about us. Friends and colleagues sometimes share things about us as well. Make sure everything linking to photos of you and your social media profiles is appropriate by searching your name. If you find something that is damaging to your reputation, contact the site owner or administrative owner with a request to remove it. As always, keep in mind that future images, posts, and comments all serve as a collective first impression. Hopefully these tips will help strengthen your professional reputation!
Best of luck in your job search!