These days almost everyone has an online presence. Do you know what your social media accounts say about you?
According to CareerBuilder.com, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen employees before hiring. So how do you make sure that they like what they see? Follow these steps.
1. Search for yourself.
You should be familiar with anything that an employer might see online. What comes up when they search for you? You never want to be surprised in an interview … if you are lucky enough to get the interview. You may not think it is fair to be judged by what is posted online, but it happens a lot more than you think.
2. Modify your account names.
Many people use their middle name or an alternate name instead of their last name. Facebook allows you to change your profile name at any time and update your privacy settings whenever you want to. The same goes for Twitter and Instagram. By making your profile private, you can still stay connected with your family and friends while also keeping your account invisible to future employers.
3. Make sure you have a professional LinkedIn profile.
It is important to have some sort of an online presence so that a search of you by a prospective employer doesn’t come up completely empty. These days, all professionals should have a LinkedIn profile which displays a professional image and confirms what is listed on your résumé. Make sure to update this space as frequently as you update your résumé. The last thing you want is for your future employer to find any discrepancies here.
4. Use Instagram professionally.
Instagram is the most visual social platform, so make sure to use it appropriately. Take pictures of your culinary creations, paintings, fashion displays, etc. If you prefer to post more personal things, consider making your account private or modifying your name here, as well.
5. Be aware of what other people are posting on your profile.
If something inappropriate surfaces on social media, make sure to separate yourself from it (either delete or hide comments). These types of posts, whether they were posted by someone else or are something you were tagged in, can be viewed from your profile and may appear to represent your personal opinions. Also, be careful of what you retweet, as that reflects on you as well.
6. Create a Google alert for yourself.
By doing so, you can be the first to know when anything new is posted about you (or someone with your name) online. With this type of alert, Google will email you any time something new is posted. To learn how to do that click here.
7. Use social media to your advantage.
Use Instagram to post about your talent and try to stay away from posting confidential information about your employer or their clients. Use Facebook to show your creativity and community involvement and not to complain about your job or rant about your customers. Use LinkedIn to cultivate a professional network, and make sure to remain professional in all posts and comments.
The fact is that you should be able to have a personal online persona that is just for you and your family and friends. If you have worries about your social profiles presenting you in a negative light to prospective employers, make new ones that are separate and just represent you as a professional.