Spring Cleaning Your Social Media
By Cecelia Bocker
Nowadays, in addition to viewing resumes, interviewing, and checking references, one thing that a lot of companies do before hiring a candidate is check their online presence. This means your social media profiles. We’ve listed some tips to help you clean up your online presence and be sure you present yourself in the best possible light.
- Your Profile Picture – Be sure your profile picture is something you’re proud of. It should not show you partaking in any type of activity that could be considered “inappropriate” or “controversial”. Your profile picture should also show you wearing something appropriate. For example, everyone loves to post those vacation pictures, but think about if you will be okay with your potential boss seeing you in that bikini on the beach or that drinking t-shirt you bought at the bar. Remember to SMILE!
- Photos – As we said above, be sure your pictures show you in a way that you’re happy with being represented. It’s okay to have a variety of photos showing you on vacation, out with friends, in college, at family gatherings, etc., but you don’t want all of your pictures to involve drinking and partying. You want to come across as a well-rounded person. Be sure to UNTAG yourself in unflattering photos so they don’t show on your profile!
- Information – If you’re not okay with your boss knowing certain things about your personal life, be sure you do not have that information displayed in your profile. This includes your age, your hometown, your relationship status and links to your other social media profiles. Most profiles allow you to choose what information you display to the public and what is only seen by you, be sure you know what you’re putting out there. If you don’t want it to be known, don’t make it readily AVAILABLE!
- Posts/Content – Just like your pictures, what you post on your profile gets added into the equation of who you are. While you do have your right to free speech and to your opinion (especially on your own profile) try to keep in mind that other people have their opinions too, and might not be afraid to voice them. There’s nothing less professional than being caught up in an argument in the comments of a social media post. When it comes to the content you display on your page, consider this…if you wouldn’t be comfortable discussing it in your office, don’t post it. If you wouldn’t be COMFORTABLE with your grandmother asking you about it, keep it off social media!
- Privacy Settings – Each social media platform has different privacy settings. Some platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat) allow for two options of privacy, “private” or “public”. Being “private” on these means that a person has to follow you or add you to see your posts, your stories, your information, etc. The only thing immediately available is your username, your bio, and your picture. Other platforms (Facebook and LinkedIn) allow you to control specific pieces of information you share with either the public, your friends/connections, or just yourself. Be sure to review what you have made readily available on your profile and make the necessary changes. Be smart, be safe, be PRIVATE!
In a time where everything can be screenshotted and everyone has an opinion that they are entitled to, what you post on social media can make or break you. Be sure you are proud of what you share and reveal about yourself. While we mentioned these things and how they relate to your career, these are also good tips to look into just to ensure your general safety and wellbeing in today’s age of internet.
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