You better think about the context and content of your next Facebook status or Tweet if you’re in the market for a new job. Let me tell you something, if I were looking for a job right now I would pretty much need to eighty-six my Facebook and Instagram accounts. Go ahead and laugh—but that photo of me chirping up my last margarita would probably be frowned up.
If you think employers aren’t looking at social media when considering a candidate, think again. The Chicago Tribute says that 84% percent of employers used social media last year to recruit job candidates and 1/3 of those disqualified potential employees based on what they found. And just to round out the stats, The Muse found that employers are searching the following to learn more about you: Facebook 76%, Twitter 53%, and LinkedIn 48%.
Social media goes both ways. Employees use it to research potential companies and job opportunities. And employers not only check out resumes, cover letters, qualifications, and professional contacts—they also judge your personal history, professionalism, and your potential fit for the company culture.
So just remember that with social media, there is the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. You want to accomplish the biggest fail ever? Then tweet about your obsession with Fireball, your hatred for a politician, or make disparaging comments about your boss and colleagues. We’ve all done it, but it’s time to stop if you want to land a great job.
Here’s 9 ways to help you clean up your social media while you’re looking for a job.
- Google yourself and see what comes up. If you find posts or photos that are “suspect,” remove as many of them as you can.
- When you publish photos, make sure that they represent you in a positive manner.
- Change all of your settings to private so that you’re inner most feelings and indiscretions are left to those that you trust.
- When you share content, make sure that it’s relevant and useful to your industry so that it appears like you’re invested in your chosen profession.
- Change your interests to reflect things that are business-focused.
- Weed out friends that can make you look bad.
- Review your blog content and pull down anything that might be considered too edgy or controversial.
- Check YouTube and remove any videos that you’ve posted that might infringe on copyrights or portray you in unfavorable circumstances.
- Match your LinkedIn profile to your resume and make sure that you have engaging and pertinent endorsements.
Use your social network to your advantage. And remember that you can use your media to build a compelling brand for yourself.