We live in a world were social media is everywhere. For many people, if it wasn’t posted on Facebook or Instagram, it didn’t actually happen. With all of the sharing we do, it is very possible that you haven’t been considering how a potential employer would view your posts. When it comes to finding a job, certain posts can come back to bite you, so here are four ways to make your social media more professional.
View Your Photos through the Eyes of a Hiring Manager
That party last week was fun, and you want your friends to see how exciting your life is. Take another look though, and this time think about the impression it makes on a hiring manager who hasn’t met you and may only know you from this photo and your resume. Is that photo going to help you or hurt you in your job search? If you look at a photo and can even remotely see how it could be a strike against you, take it down. Many sites have privacy settings but unless you trust sites like Facebook not to change their policies, it’s better to just take it down to be sure.
Google Yourself and Look for Anything That Paints You in a Less-Than-Professional Light
Sure, you might not be Ryan Gosling or Sandra Bullock in terms of online popularity, but a quick search on Google will show that your name can show up in quite a lot of searches. Your hiring manager will Google you, so get one-step ahead of them and Google yourself, looking for anything that may either reflect badly on you , or even seems mildly questionable. If you find something, ask the website owner to take it down. Usually they are happy to oblige if you ask them nicely.
Remember You Aren’t the Only One Posting Pictures of You
Friends and family members might casually post group pictures on their social media, and while they mean no malice, they do include you in situations that may not exactly scream “I’m a professional”. While that trip to wine country or that fun weekend in Vegas may have produced some great pictures, if your friend or family members posted them they are searchable on sites, especially if you are tagged. Have your friends “untag” you on these pictures, and take your full name off of any posts. If there are any pictures that absolutely shouldn’t be seen, ask them to please take them down.
Make Sure the Information on Your Pages Matches What Is on Your Resume
There is a lot of information on social media sites that can be cross-checked with your resume. Make sure that the basic information on your resume is in line with what you post online. While you should never lie on your resume, the main reason you want to make sure information is in tune is that there may be innocent timeline errors that could make a hiring manager think you are not telling the truth. Did you work on a big freelance project for a company from July-November 2014? If you put that you took a sabbatical to train as an artist in Europe from July-September 2014 EVEN THOUGH you meant 2015, it could cause a hiring manager to question whether you are telling the truth on your resume.
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