Currently, your online presence holds just as much weight as a resume when it comes to searching for the next career opportunity. It is absolutely no secret that some recruiter take a look at your social media profiles and Google you to get an understanding of your capabilities and personality. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of recruiters snoop on a potential employees profiles, and about 39% of recruiters have not hired a potential employee based on their online presence.
There are some things to void when posting on social media:
- Heavy Alcohol Usage
- Drug Usage: Even if weed is legal where you live, this is the one thing I’d absolutely recommend scrubbing out of your profiles.
- Inappropriate Posts
- Excessive Foul Language
Before posting onto your personal social media accounts, think about what you are sharing and who is going to see it. The internet lasts forever, and while privacy settings may protect your accounts, some things are never truly private.
There are ways you can take to strengthen the security of your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Who can see my stuff: You can switch the default public setting on your post under “Who can see my stuff?” and make your content only visible to friends. There is also the option to choose who will see your post using the audience selector when you make a new Facebook status. The audience selector control remembers what you select, so unless you change your audience, all future posts will be shared with the same people.
- Restrict past posts: If you have always made your Facebook posts public and now want to improve your security, limiting old posts will prevent anyone outside of those on your friend’s list from seeing it.
- Timeline and tagging: These settings can be adjusted for who can see tagged photos of you and who can post on your timeline.
- Photos: Profile pictures and cover photos are made public by default. Check to see if your albums and mobile uploads are set to public and set them to the settings you chose.
- Friends and Followers: Few things speak to your character as much as the company you keep, and that’s just as true on online as it is in the real world. Consider changing settings on who can access your friends list.
- Protect my Tweets: By default, your Tweets are all public. Selecting the “Protect my Tweets” option will make all your Tweets private and only visible to followers you’ve accepted.
- Turn off location: Twitter gives you the option to add your current location to your Tweet, but it isn’t a default setting.
- Discover ability: Disabling this option will prevent anyone that has your email address or phone number from searching and finding your Twitter account.
- No tagging in photos: Like Facebook, turning off this setting stops other users from tagging you in a photo they post.
- Account is Private: Making your account private is the easiest way to clean up your Instagram.
Social media doesn’t have to be negative thing. There are ways that you can use it to your advantage and boost your chances of gaining employment or clients, if you are a freelance worker.
Now don’t be too hard on yourself when cleaning up your social media profiles, recruiters don’t expect you to be an angel of perfection. It is okay to have pictures of yourself enjoying a beer/cocktail with friends or sharing a well educated political idea. Every decent employer will know that these are your social media profiles, and what you do with your weekends are ultimately your own business. What they’re looking for here is a degree of confidence in your professionalism, maturity, and overall character. If you don’t already behave cautiously and conscientiously online, now is the time to get into the habit.