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How to do a social media cleanup before applying for jobs
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How to do a social media cleanup before applying for jobs

So you’re on the job hunt? Your resumé shines bright, that cover letter could win a Pulitzer and you know the company’s history in and out. All set for an interview, right? Maybe not. If you’re on any social networks — and we imagine you are, RELAXnation — then it’s probably time you take a look at your own social media history and consider a cleansing.

The social media check-up has become nearly as common as looking at a cover letter, so it’s important to take a look at what a potential employer good find on your good name. Here are a few quick tips on converting your social profiles from college to career mode.

Start with a search engine

The most basic search an employer is going to run is a search of your name. Head over to Google, type your name in parenthesis. You may be surprised what “Your Name” will turn up. Many social profiles will appear on the first page. Even worse, search your name in Google’s image options. Eek! This can easily be corrected by visiting your privacy settings (for example, on Facebook visit “Privacy Settings,” then “Apps, Games and Websites” and turn off the “Public Search” option).

Hunt and gather what’s out there

Think of every social media profile or blog you have ever created. Just because you’re no longer using your MySpace profile doesn’t mean it wont show up in an extensive search. Close any profiles or blogs you’re not using. Make a list of profiles you have that are active. Now we move on to the next step.

Social cleansing

If you post about your private life then you should definitely consider making all profiles private. Your future employer may not understand your late night postings of Death Cab for Cutie lyrics or your Bonnaroo photo album. Once your profile is on lock down, go through your photos and remove anything that you would not want strangers to see. As a general rule, you can ask yourself if you would want your grandmother to see the post. If not, you should probably take the photo down or untag it. If yes then it’s fine, unless of course your grandmother is Betty White. In that case, can you hook us up with an autograph?

Forward thinking

Once your profile has been wiped clean of all debauchery, keep it that way for future posts. Think twice before uploading all of your photos from last week’s bachelorette party, or at the very least make sure the privacy settings are on lock-down. Don’t post your angry thoughts about your current employer, you’re only foreshadowing for prospective employers. Instead, be a thought provoker and post about industry related news and links. Become an influencer in your field and have a profile that you would be proud to show to potential employers.

If you have more tips, please share them with us on Twitter.

One Response

  1. Tanya says:

    Just cruising around your website (my best friend wants to find blue wine bottles to collect for her wedding, I thought your riesling may work nicely). I just thought I would bring a couple typos to your attention. “what a potential employer good find on your good name” I’m thinking should have been “could find.” Also, “type your name in parenthesis” I do believe should say quotation marks. Not parenthesis.

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