Ways To Clean Up Your Social Media Presence And Impress Employers – 70% of employers say they use social media to research job candidates during the hiring process. 57% have found content (like inappropriate, provocative, or discriminatory photographs or comments) that caused them not to hire candidates. While social media is a great way to connect with friends and family, it also has the potential to hurt your chances of landing a job. By taking care to clean up your online presence, you can make sure it’s an asset rather than a hindrance professionally.
Check your social media profiles for any content that has the potential to put you in a bad light. Put yourself in an employer’s shoes. If any posts could make you doubt someone’s professionalism, trustworthiness, or competence, you need to delete them. For example, vulgar language, inappropriate screen names, discriminatory comments, or gossip about previous employers or co-workers all need to go. It’s a good idea to do this for all your accounts, even ones set to private. Archiving your social media data can also be a valuable step, so you don’t need to completely lose any content you delete. Facebook, for example, fortunately includes a built-in archiving function that compiles your complete history in an easy-to-access download. Needless to say, before you delete anything permanently, make sure to download Facebook information that’s valuable to you.
Social media can be a great opportunity to project a professional image to employers and help you land a job. So, start by uploading professional profile pictures across all platforms. Even if your profiles are private, the profile image will usually still be on display, thereby forming the first impression employers make of you. It’s also wise to create completely separate professional social media profiles intentionally left public for potential employers to see. LinkedIn, in particular, is ideal for business use. Make sure your LinkedIn profile includes an up-to-date bio and complete work history, as well as industry-related posts and articles. If you want to portray yourself as an industry expert, sharing industry news and information about upcoming conferences, authoring unique and in-depth blog posts, and posting value-add comments are effective ways of enhancing your professional image.
Once you’ve cleaned up your online presence, be careful about what you now post going forward — on both public and private profiles. While it’s fine to post life updates on personal profiles, always use common sense and think carefully before you post. Avoid controversial topics like politics and religion, vulgar language, and gossip or negative comments. If you’re ever unsure about whether a specific post may negatively influence your reputation, don’t post it. Save it as a draft and revisit it later with a fresh set of eyes.
Don’t let your social media presence sabotage your chances of landing your dream job. By deleting inappropriate content, working to portray a professional image, and managing your social media presence wisely, you can stay in control of your online persona and impress potential employers.
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