Clean up Your Social Media Before an Interview

4 ways to improve your social presence

As technology continues to advance, social media is playing more of a role and affecting almost every industry imaginable. More than ever, employers are searching social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Employers are still using Google to search your name but 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates.

Even though everything we put online is permanent and can be retrieved, here are some ways to clean up your social media presence before a job interview so you can put your best online foot forward.

Google Yourself

Before going on an interview, Google yourself. This will allow you to see what appears in the search results. This may require some advance searching, but it will allow you to see what the employer will be seeing once they search your name. Adding quotes around your first and last name in the Google search will help scan through news and image results quickly. If nothing comes up through this search, you should also search your name with your hometown or where you currently reside. This allows you to find any unwanted posts or images. If this is on a social platform like Facebook, you can easily go to your page and delete it, un-tag yourself or contact the person with the post to have it removed.

Update Privacy Settings

Keep your private life private. Companies may look at your social media accounts to find out who you are in a social setting. When applying for a new position, you should change your privacy settings on all social media accounts. If you have a public profile, go into your settings and change your settings to “friends” only. This will allow you to accept or deny any new friends or followers. With this privacy setting employers will only be able to see your public profile picture and cover photo on certain sites, limiting access to private information.

Get Rid of Questionable Photos and Posts

If you still have the same Facebook, Instagram or Twitter from your high school and college days, it is best practice to delete or hide any inappropriate posts. A profile picture is the first thing a hiring manager will see when they search your social media accounts and you will want your images to say something positive about you. If you have public images that are unprofessional it is best to remove them or set them to private. Un-tag yourself from any photos or posts that are inappropriate, offensive or distasteful.

You would not want a tweet or status from years ago resurfacing and being the reason why you did not get a job offer. Any tweets or Facebook statuses that have profanity or offensive language should be deleted. Also, be aware of any typos or misspellings in recent social posts. Your social platforms should be a reflection of who you are as an individual and how you carry yourself.

Create a Professional LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a professional site to help employers and job seekers network with one another, which can sometimes lead to job recruitment. Your LinkedIn profile should create a clear, focused description of your career interests and work experience. Even though you should keep some social platforms private, LinkedIn is one you should have as noticeable as possible. Share news articles that relate to you and your career path. This will help show you are invested in your industry and aware of new trends. Your profile picture should complement the professional background you have created.

Professional Skills Institute can help you build valuable professional development skills to assist you in creating a professional image on a variety of social media platforms. Visit us today or contact us at 800-216-5770 to learn more about our programs and how we can help with your professional development skills.

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