Living in the “digital age” definitely has it’s pros and cons. One pro is that you can find out everything you ever needed to know about somebody by looking them up online… however that comes with the con of anybody being able to learn everything they ever needed to know about you just by looking you up as well.
According to Glassdoor, 80% of employers Google a potential employee candidate before they even call you in for an interview. A lot can be said about a person by their online profiles.
If this fact makes you nervous or you’re just hoping to double check that you’re putting your best face forward for a job search – this is the post for you. What can you do to clean up your social media and make sure you pass that first round of searching?
1. Search Yourself
Be a step ahead of employers by searching your own name. What comes up? For most people the first things that will show up are your LinkedIn account, your Facebook account, a personal website if you have one, and any other social media pages.
Take this order as a hint to what order you should clean stuff up. If your Twitter account comes up before your LinkedIn account then you might want to make sure your Twitter profile represents your best self before you start to work on your LinkedIn.
Don’t have any social media accounts? That is also warning sign to employers in this age. If you’re on a job search it is highly recommended that you at least have a LinkedIn account.
2. Match Your Profile Pics
Maybe this is just my inner social media manager talking.. but having matching profile pictures across your social media accounts definitely makes you look professional.
However, if you don’t have matching profile pictures that is fine but you should definitely make it a priority to have a professional headshot as your LinkedIn profile picture at the very least.
3. Delete Any “Sketchy” Photos
Perhaps you were a partier in college or had an ex-boyfriend who loved to post unflattering pictures of you online – take control and delete those. Anything that you wouldn’t want an employer to see, delete or adjust the privacy settings to make sure they can’t see it.
4. Delete/Un-tag Embarrassing Posts
Does your mom tag you in every single meme she sees? Did your old co-worker tag you in every post where she griped about your old boss? Don’t be afraid to delete and un-tag anything you wouldn’t want a future employer to see.
My favorite way to do this is to enable the Facebook Memories notifications. Once a day I get a notification from Facebook where it lets me know what I posted every year on that day since I join Facebook. This allows me to delete my embarrassing photos and “is feeling goofy” posts from middle school one day at a time.
5. Stop Over-Sharing
The entire world doesn’t need to know that you just finished your math homework and you’re about to start your history paper (note to my middle school self…) or that you just went to the grocery store and you’re about to go to the nail salon. Keep personal posts like this personal by updating your privacy settings per post to ensure that the ones you want to keep between your friends are kept between friends.
6. Update “About Me”
Does your “about me” section on Twitter still say you’re a year younger than you actually are? Does it have your ex-girlfriend’s name in the bio? Or a quote you’re not too fond of anymore? Update it regularly!
This is especially important for LinkedIn – which some people put that they are searching for a specific type of job in their summary section.. make sure that is up to date.
7. Check Privacy Settings
Is keeping up on all of this a little overwhelming for you? Consider changing your privacy settings and making all of your social media accounts private so that people have to request access and you need to approve them in order to see your content! That may be worth looking into if you want to continue to share personal aspects of your life without putting off employers.
How have you updated your online presence before embarking on a job search? Or, are you an employer who regularly searches potential employees? Share in the comments below!