In this day and age, a lot more information about who we are is available to view online mainly through our social accounts. As a student or a professional on the rise doing an audit of your social media image is more important than you may realize.
Does your potential employer or business partner know more about you than you think? The answer is; most probably. Ask yourself if they were to look you up on Google, what will they find? Would they be bombarded by videos and pictures of random nights out or the odd shared joke that may come across as inappropriate in a formal setting?
Social media gives the recruiter a quick way to learn more about candidates.
Firstly, let’s look at what the recruiter can tell when viewing a candidate’s online profiles:
- Are they truly passionate about what they claim to care about? Do they post a lot about these interests?
- Do they use good judgment when posting and commenting? Or, are they reckless about their posts, possibly causing harm or offense to others?
- Do they promote the values that the recruiter’s company cares about?
- Do they use correct and accurate grammar and punctuation?
- Are they posting images and sharing content that goes against the company’s code of conduct?
Well, the good news is you do not need to delete all your existing accounts. In fact, having a social presence can make you look tech savvy and networked if you do it right, most employers actually want well-connected people on their team.
Now let’s take a look at what you can do to polish up your social media profiles for a job search.
1. Search yourself –You want to see what everyone else finds first when they enter your name into a search engine. Do your search on the most popular search engines GOOGLE, BING & YAHOO.
Put your first and last name in quotes into the Search bar, Scan through the results (remember to check the tabs marked under News and Images).
Analyze what you find, all of the results about you? Does someone with your name make bad decisions online?
- Delete certain posts and comments – With comments or posts, you made yourself you can simply remove the comment. Consider whether you need the public to know about your feelings on politics, world events and/or celebrities. Your thoughts and feelings matter, but posting them on a public site makes them part of your personal “brand kit” and tells people who you are.
2. Post and share relevant content – You want to make posts that show consistency with what you care about. If you are passionate about literary works, art, animal rights, free speech, data mining, then post about those issues. Post-Industry-Related topics (News, Quotes, or Articles). Use discretion when sharing overly-personal information – does the hiring manager need to know your political or religious affiliation or should they see that you are passionate about leadership, mentoring, inspiring others instead?
3. Un-tag yourself – If you have been tagged or mentioned in posts or photos that are inappropriate, offensive or distasteful, remove your name from the tag. If the image or comment is damaging, ask the person who originated the post to remove it.
4. Be Honest – If your online posts are already archived and can no longer be deleted or untagged, then alert hiring managers that they might find content from your past that is unflattering. Being proactive and offering an explanation e.g. (“In 1999, I was impacted by a certain event, then I lashed out online…”) may paint a different impression of you.
5. Make Your Accounts Private –Take time to check your account settings to be set for certain posts to only be viewed by certain people you specifically choose.
- Deactivate Old Accounts – check if till have any forgotten accounts that may not carry content that may not reflect who you are now.
- Add the Right Photos – remember the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words”
- Add a Professional Bio – edit your viewable profile to include your professional resume
- Edit Your Handles, links, and URLs – check to see what your accounts ‘link juice’ is and change it to only lead visitors to the pages you want to be associated with.
Visit our Botho University admissions team, they are ready to give you that professional boost: