Soooo….you’re entering the competitive job market. Whether you’ve just graduated college or are jumping back in after being laid off, there are some new ‘rules’ you need to be aware of when applying for positions. More and more employers are doing a search for potential hires online both before and after the interview. And not just using search engines, social media profiles and activity are being combed through for red flags.
What is your online reputation? How are you viewed online? How are your security settings?
Here are 5 tips in helping you clean up your online personality:
- Appropriate Profile Picture
This is the most simple, most obvious step in helping your profile. Doesn’t have to be a professional head shot. Just make sure it’s not the following: drunken madness, party picture, obscene t-shirt or gesture. And once you have an appropriate picture, make sure you keep it consistent across all the channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, etc)
- Up Your Security on Facebook
Have a few friends who love to ‘tag’ you in unflattering pictures? If you haven’t already, you need to make sure you spend some time in your security settings. You can have Facebook notify you when someone has ‘tagged’ you in a photo or post. Its up to you if you allow it on your timeline.
Go through each of the settings in the ‘Timeline and Tagging’ section of your Settings.
You can also change your privacy settings in this section as well. Depending on the knowledge of who is searching for you, you can make it secure enough where they can’t find you at all. This is under Settings>Privacy. Familiarize yourself with all these pages in settings to make sure you and your information stay secure.
- History Purge
Facebook: You may want to go back a few months, years if you need to, and search what is visible on your timeline. This includes photos, status updates and shares of information. Its a given that you really should ‘untag’ any inappropriate photos. But dig deeper, delete random extreme political, religious or angry rants in your newsfeed. Look at your ‘Likes’ as well (Pages). May want to ‘Unlike’ any that could be in the indecent, extremely political, etc. So sorry, you’ll need to disconnect from the Hot Hunks/Babes page on Facebook.
Twitter & Instagram: Go back through and look at your content and photos. Delete any tweets and photos that could be categorized as inappropriate. Now if you have a random account on either of these this doesn’t apply to you. But if your name is tied to your account on either, you need to reevaluate what you’ve been sending out to the world.
Update your work history, education, organization, skills and certifications. This includes updating your contact information (email, phone, website, etc.). Also include your charity work. As for your title, you can change it to what you do (your specialty/skill set). Simply select the edit profile button, then select the ‘Pen’ next to your title under your name. This will help you get found in searches on LinkedIn. Completely set up your profile before you start connecting with professionals. Start following companies of interest, influential professionals and topics in your industry. Share ideas with your connections consistently.
- Think Before Posting/Sharing
As long as your name is tied to your profile, you need to be wary of what you post/share on social media channels. So ask yourself a few questions before sending anything out to the world:
- Is it relevant?
- Can this be seen as offensive?
- Is it resourceful? Will it help someone?
- Will this harm someone?
- Does it promote or harm your reputation?
Follow key influencers in your industry. Pay attention to what they post/share online. Focus more on posting information that is helpful, funny or inspiring. If you think of others before yourself you will gain followers quickly. Ideally, there should be a benefit to connecting with you online. Help others always.
Well I hope this was some help to you in the job seeking world. Remember its not just your physical/personal reputation that gets noticed, its also your online reputation that can make or break you in an interview.