If you are in the market for a new job or career change, there’s one thing you can almost guarantee. Your prospective employer will be looking for your online presence in as many places as possible. And, like it or not, this will include your social media accounts.
It is essential that you bear in mind this is a growing trend. Employers want to know if you are a suitable candidate beyond your application. And, searching for your social media posts and profiles is a lot cheaper than getting you in for an interview.
As this is such a growing concern for job candidates of all professions, we thought we would give you a guide on how to clean up your social media profiles. Read on to find out – and protect your chances of grabbing an interview!
What are they looking for?
Employers are looking for reasons not to hire you. If you use your social media to sound off about sensitive issues or boast about boozy nights out, it’s going to be a warning sign. That’s not to say you won’t get the job – or an interview. But if you are up against someone with the same skill sets and a squeaky clean profile, who do you think will get the job? Bad language is an obvious no-no, as is any form of intolerance or hate speech. You should also watch out for any posts that counter how good you are at your job. For example, if you are a copywriter and have spelling and grammar mistakes on all over your Facebook, it’s not going look good.
Now let’s drill down to each social media channel. Linkedin is the starting point – as it will be for your prospective employers. We’ll assume you don’t use Linkedin to tell bad jokes and post inappropriate material. If you’re doing that, there is little hope for you! But it is important to understand how to use LinkedIn for your job search. A high-quality profile is essential – many employers look at this before checking out your resume. Make sure you have an exceptional headline to draw employers in, and then wow them with a combination of experience and vital info. One thing about cleaning up your Linkedin profile – make sure you perform regular maintenance on it. Be as active as possible, too. There’s every chance your current employer will realize you are looking for a new job if there is a sudden flurry of activity.
Cleaning up your Facebook profile is easy on the face of things. You just need to switch your privacy settings onto the maximum. However, you should also bear in mind that some of your posts will still be visible to others – including a prospective employer. If a friend likes, comments or shares your post, there is every chance they might see it. Photos of you might also be on view. So, there is no getting around it, go through your profile and delete or detag yourself from anything that might cause an issue.
Again, to stop people seeing your Twitter account, you can change your privacy settings to ‘protected’. However, this might go against you when it comes to finding a job. If, say, you are going for a social media job, your employer will want to see how you develop and maintain Twitter relationships. They might think you are trying to hide things if your account is on lockdown. Your best bet, then, is to go through all your Tweets and remove anything that could be taken the wrong way. Be careful who you follow and what you retweet or favorite, too. Employers can drill down to extreme detail. If they see you liking inappropriate material, it can be just as bad as you saying it yourself.
Other Social Media Channels
Don’t forget about your presence on the other social network, either. Google+ and YouTube are linked, don’t forget, and it can be easy to track comments via profiles. Instagram and Pinterest are a little easier to maintain – unless you have more ‘underground’ visual tastes! Don’t forget about older social media profiles, either – as well as any blogs you own or write for. Finally, Google your name and ensure that all details about you online are legitimate and appropriate.
With a little luck, this process should clean up your social media profile to perfection. It will also put across the best image possible to prospective employers. It can take a while, but it is important to put in a good amount of effort. And, depending on your past life, maybe you will need to put in more effort than the average person! Good luck with the job hunt!