Cleaning Up your Online Presence
As social media becomes a more integral part of the business world, it is crucial that your personal accounts are professional representations of you. A recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that 37 percent of hiring managers look to candidates’ social media profiles when making hiring decisions, of those who currently research candidates via social media, 43 percent said they found information that caused them not to hire a candidate. Hiring managers examined such criteria as how professional the profiles were, candidates’ qualifications and how well candidates would fit into the corporate culture among others. So how can you ensure your online presence is up to hiring standards?
Google Yourself The first step to cleaning up your online presence will be to take inventory of what exactly is out there about you. See what the top results are when "googling" your name in the web and for images. Next, take a look at all your social media accounts. Delete or "untag" any content that contains profanity, drinking and excessive partying or contradicts any information on your resume. Recruiters do check social media accounts to see if applicants lied on their resumes.
Profile Pictures This is the first impression the hiring manager will get from you. So make sure this picture contains no evidence of drinking or any illicit activities. Use a current picture that comes across as friendly and personable.
Privacy Settings Social media sites are continuously changing their policies and settings regarding privacy. Stay up to date on these changes and adjust your settings accordingly. Utilize options that allow control over who can see what and how easily your name/information can be searched.
Check your Grammar Strong communication skills are a vital component of any position. Your potential boss won’t be impressed if you can’t spell correctly or mix up their, they’re and there. Edit any posts with blatant errors or poor use of slang.
Showcase Talents and Interests Join the groups of your scholastic and professional organizations. Follow companies and organizations that you admire. Include pictures of your designs and projects or post samples. Share news and thought-provoking articles related to your career field. These actions will show recruiters that you are passionate about your work and staying up-to-date with changes in your industry.
Mentions of Past or Present Employers Do not badmouth any of your former or present places of employment. If you have already, delete immediately. Hiring managers won’t want to risk hiring you if you bash other employers or co-workers. Many businesses have a social media policy in place that prohibits employees from posting anything negative about the company or their job.
As you continue forward, make sure to maintain a clean social media presence. Stay on track by following the fundamental rule of sharing on the web: don’t post it if you don’t want it to be public.