The temperatures are rising, the trees and flowers are starting to bloom, and the rain… the rain has definitely been here. It must be spring! With spring comes the ever popular “spring cleaning”. After cleaning your house and your office, it may be a good idea to think about cleaning up your social media sites, especially if you are in the market for a new job.
In a technology-saturated society, it should be a no brainer that employers use social media as another filter to screen potential candidates. As someone who works with multiple employers, I can attest to this fact. Just this past February, I was working with a client who told me that he would do a complete social media search on any candidate that I presented to him. Yikes!
If you’re currently on the job hunt, below are some simple ways to make sure your social media accounts are in order.
LinkedIn – When job seekers think of social media in relation to their job search, LinkedIn is probably the first site that comes to mind. In essence, LinkedIn is the social media version of your resume and should be treated as such. I think a good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t put it on your resume, don’t put it on LinkedIn. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. For instance, you probably wouldn’t put your picture on your resume (at least I hope you wouldn’t), but you would put a picture on LinkedIn. In fact, having a picture helps your profile get noticed more! To help “clean up” your LinkedIn profile make sure your picture is tasteful and professional. There is no reason to include your significant other, children, or pets.
Another great way to clean up your LinkedIn profile is to make sure it is completely filled out. This includes a title, a summary of your professional experiences and goals, your work history with a brief explanation of each position, your education, and any volunteer experience, professional organizations, and accomplishments you may have or belong to. Another great cleaning tip is to search through the “your activity” section at the top of your profile. This will give you the opportunity to look at anything you may have commented on, liked, shared, or posted. Remember, anyone can view this so if there are posts that you don’t feel good about an employer seeing then you should delete them.
Facebook – Your Facebook is more than likely going to be one of the first places your potential employer looks you up. Some obvious tips to make sure your profile will not hinder your job search are to make sure your profile picture and cover photo are appropriate and monitor what you’re posting. At this point you may be thinking, “I don’t use Facebook often and I definitely don’t post anything incriminating”. That’s great! But what about pictures or posts your friends are tagging you in? This can still show up on your profile depending on what your privacy settings are. One great way to clean up these posts is to use the “view activity log” button to the right of your profile picture. There is a link to view all the posts you’ve been tagged in on the left hand side of the screen. After cleaning up your tagged posts, you can monitor future tags by clicking the ellipses next to the “view activity log” button. This will give you a drop down menu where you will need to click “Timeline Settings”. You can enable the function that will allow you to review any tags before they appear on your Facebook. This will allow you to be worry-free about what your friends and family may tag you in.
Twitter – If you know you don’t always portray the best image of yourself on Twitter, this may be a good time to search back through old tweets and delete those that will work against you. The simplest way to make sure your Twitter will not cause your professional appearance any harm is to protect your tweets. Anyone can re-tweet your posts, unless they are protected. This also gives you the opportunity to approve anyone who may want to follow you. Remember, your profile picture, cover photo, and your “about me” section are still visible to anyone who looks up your name so make them appropriate!
Instagram – Instagram is another quick and easy fix. If you have any photos that may look unsavory to an employer, either delete them or make your profile private so only your followers can view your posts. If you make your profile private, be sure to remember that anyone can still see the “about me” on the top of your page so make sure to omit any inappropriate language. Like the other three social media sites I discussed, make sure you have a tasteful and appropriate profile picture.
Growing up I was always taught that if I wouldn’t want something to be used as the headline in the morning paper to not post it on social media. I still think that is a great way to think about what you post. Happy Spring Cleaning!
Casey has been with Aureus Group since November of 2016 and currently serves as an Account Manager for the accounting and finance team, working the Kansas City market. She has two years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry, and holds a bachelor’s of science in speech communication. She recently relocated to the Omaha area and is enjoying life with her new husband and their two dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys working on their new home, attending concerts, and exploring her new city.