As part of our interview process, we review hundreds of job seekers’ social media accounts and what we find can be unprofessional and sometimes even downright sad. If you are currently seeking a new career opportunity, maybe it is time for you to change that profile picture of you performing that unremarkable keg stand or delete those regrettable late-night tweets that can come back to haunt you later. It shouldn’t be a surprise that employers will check a candidate’s social media presence as part of their screening process, or more so, to get an idea of your personality outside of the workplace. Most social media networks offer privacy settings but the number of people who don’t exercise this option is shocking.
We have outlined a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to preparing your social media pages while on the job hunt.
- Do maximize your privacy settings. You can control what people see on your page with a simple click of a button if you are unwilling to change your online habits. If you are unaware of how to change your privacy settings – Google it!
- Do change your profile picture. This is still visible to potential employers when searching your name. This does not mean you have to be in a suit, but select something appropriate; something your mom would approve of.
- Don’t forget about your posts/tweets from several years ago. Those matter too. Delete any and every post that contains nudity, foul language, references to drug and alcohol, racism or sexism – you get the gist.
- Do utilize LinkedIn to build your professional network. Use a professional photo, update your employment history, licenses, education, etc. Engage in industry related discussion groups and connect with others in the profession. This is not the place to post memes or your latest selfie.
- If you choose to ‘friend’ your employer or co-workers, remember that whatever you post could potentially be shared with others around the workplace.
In addition to employers checking your social media presence before an interview, please know that Recruiters check you out as well. So before you apply to a position, make sure your social media history is clear. You don’t want to be removed from consideration for a role solely based on something you tweeted four years ago.
Your social media presence gives a strong impression. Make it a good one.
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