Nearly half of all companies say that checking a candidate’s social media is now a regular part of their hiring process. Cleaning up your social media before you start your job search will help hiring managers see a more professional side of you. Here are four tips for making sure your social media is up to snuff before you start your job search.
Be Conservative with Your Photos
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s especially true on social media. If hiring managers see a photo they deem “inappropriate,” you may not get the opportunity to explain the context. Delete any photos that make you seem unprofessional, or that could lead to concerns about character issues. With each picture, ask yourself if you would hire the person you see?
Delete Anything That May Be Viewed in a Negative Light
The last thing you want to do when asking somebody for a job is risk offending them. Your after-hours behavior and political opinions may make you a fun and interesting person, but when looking for work you want to shoot for middle-of-the-road and dependable. If there is a borderline post that has any chance of offending anybody for any reason, delete it. These include: profanity, photos of unprofessional activities, negative posts about current or past employers, and contentious opinions (yes, that means anything remotely political).
Consider What a Hiring Manager Can Still See Even With Privacy Settings
Setting your profile to the highest privacy settings is important, but so is taking care of other content that a hiring manager may still see. You may have friends who always tag you when you are out having fun. While you may have deleted a photo on your page, a quick search may uncover the photo on your friend’s page. Ask them to untag you from their photos, and consider unfriending any “wild” friends for the duration of your job search. Also, don’t forget about your profile photo as it is the one photo that hiring managers will be able to see even when you have the highest privacy settings on.
Don’t Forget About Rating Sites
Nearly one in four hiring managers check a candidate’s posts or comments on rating sites, and if you have some overly emotional or negative posts on Yelp, it may hurt your job prospects. Like all other posts, err on the side of caution and take off anything that may be misconstrued.