When you’re looking for jobs and checking out potential employers, what’s the first thing you do? If you’re like most people, you probably start by checking out an organization’s website. After that, maybe you move on to the company LinkedIn page or switch over to read reviews on Glassdoor. If the business has a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you’re probably looking over those pages, too. You’re reviewing all these pages and profiles because online presence and reputation matter a lot, right? Well, the same is true for companies when considering potential employees.
When it comes to deciding whether or not you’re a good fit for their open job, companies are no longer limited to just your resume, cover letter, or interview style. Many employers will also review your social media, checking for red flags and alignment with their work culture and values. If you don’t want your potential boss to see the pictures from your last birthday party or that argument you got into on Twitter, then it’s time for a social media clean up. Check out these four steps to cleaning up your social media before your next job search.
1.) Deactivate and Delete
It’s a good idea to start your social media clean up campaign with a quick Google search for yourself. What comes up in the search results? You might be surprised at how much information you can find, from recent photos, Facebook posts, and tweets to your old Myspace page. Are there accounts or social profiles you no longer use? Start by getting rid of these old accounts and deactivate or delete them entirely.
Next, take a closer look at the rest of the information that comes up with a simple search. Are there images you’d rather potential employers not see? Find the source of the photos and delete or hide these posts where possible. Of course, you won’t be able to control everything that shows up in an internet search, but you can eliminate some of the big red flags and potential problems.
2.) Check Your Settings
Next up: A review of the accounts and social media profiles you do have and plan to keep. Check your settings to determine what others can see on your profile currently, then adjust as needed. Maybe there are some great pictures from your last vacation on your Facebook page. You want to keep them, but they aren’t the type of photos you’d share with colleagues. In this case, make sure you adjust your settings so that only the details you choose to share are publicly available.
Also, don’t forget that social networks like Facebook allow posts you’re tagged in by others to remain visible, so double check your settings to confirm what others are seeing. Many platforms give you the option to view your public profile, so you can get an accurate sense of what others see when they’re looking at your page.
Still worried about social posts and tweets that might not leave the best impression? Temporarily deactivating some social profiles until your job search is complete is another great option.
3.) Be Consistent
While hiding or deleting problematic social posts and profiles is important, it’s also crucial to clean up the information you are sharing. Does the information you’re sharing on your public profiles all align? For example, if you include an employment history on your Facebook profile, does it match what’s on your LinkedIn page? And are both of these consistent with the information included on your resume? Different jobs titles, employment dates, and missing details are all red flags for potential employers.
Another easy way to be consistent and make a good impression is your profile and cover photos. You don’t need a professional headshot for your social profiles, but you should have recent, good quality pictures and cover images that help to establish who you are and what you’re about. Using the same photos across your social profiles can also be beneficial because it helps employers find the real you and ensures you’re showing them all the great things you have to offer their company.
Last, consider adding a short, professional bio to your social media pages where possible. A bio is the best way to explain who you are and why you’re a great candidate in your own words.
4.) Share Relevant Content
Now that you’ve got your social media accounts all cleaned up, it’s time to start sharing and posting content related to your industry, experience, and career interests. Find relevant articles and industry news to share or post your take on the latest developments in your field. Posting relevant content shows potential employers and hiring managers that you’re well informed and makes them more likely to consider you a good fit for their position.
It’s also a great idea to connect with the companies you’re interested in working for on social media. Follow the official company page and engage with their content. Build your network by following thought leaders and influential figures, join groups and participate in discussions. The more you can build a network in advance, the better off you’ll be when it’s time to begin your next job search.
Are you looking for your next opportunity? Ethan Allen supports you throughout the job search process and helps you find the position that’s right for you. Contact us today to get started!