Cheats To Clean Up Your Social Media

What you tweet, post, and share have become a part of your own personal brand but are you aware of how you present that brand to others? As social media has become an essential part of our daily lives, more employers are looking to the internet to determine whether future employees are appropriate for the job.

According to studies, 51 percent of employers rejected candidates after browsing their social media habits. This tendency to descend deeper into the applicant’s digital background has become a standard practice in the recruitment process. A resume reports the qualifications of an applicant, but does not give the depth of someone’s personality and behaviors. Companies want to see how these individuals present themselves in their daily lives and how they interact in public settings. Does a candidate fit the company culture? By looking at how an applicant presents their own personal brand, an employer can get a feel for how they would represent the company. So here are some cheats to clean up your digital act and help you present yourself in a better light to future employers.

1. Google yourself.

A good Google search should include as much positive information about you as possible. Don’t forget to also check the images that are associated with your name—these tend to be the most unforgiving.

EXTRA TIP: Although my name is fairly uncommon, I have taken to using my full name to represent my brand. This allows a more filtered search, so that my accounts can be easily found.

2. Label your accounts personal or professional.

Reflect on how you use each social media account. Do you use your Facebook to pursue professional matters or to catch up with old friends? Is Twitter used to promote your new article or a long-winded rant on the current election? Contemplate how you want to be perceived in professionally. Facebook tends to run on the more personal side, whereas LinkedIn should be used strictly for professional interactions. Twitter and Instagram remain in the gray area, as they can be helpful in promoting your skills put down in your resume (i.e. photography, writing, etc.).

EXTRA TIP: Consider making multiple accounts. Maybe have a professional and a personal Twitter.

3. Review your permissions.

Determine who is able to see what. This is an easy way to control your image and maintain your online reputation. Lock down all personal accounts, allowing only close friends and family to see your private life. privacyHowever, when an employer sees a lack of online presence, this can reflect negatively. So make sure to compensate by allowing your professional accounts to be easily found.

4. Keep it PC.

Avoid strong use of language, photos of obscene gestures, blatant depictions of alcohol and drug abuse, and above all, keep it politically correct. Never have your future employer questioning your ability to professionally interact in a public setting. This is when I emphasize the strategic use of permissions, especially on your personal Facebook page.

5. Keep it positive.

When an employer sees a negative post, they jump to the conclusion that you would bring that negativity into the work environment. Therefore, concentrate on promoting yourself in a positive way. Retweet an inspiring quote, post a stimulating article, and Instagram an uplifting picture. And above all, never complain about your current work conditions on social media, as this has never ended well.

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