There are currently 1.79 billion monthly active users on Facebook. Chances are you’re one of them. You check out what your friends are doing, upload photos from your long weekend, maybe even share a quick opinion on a news story or issue. It’s harmless, right? Not so fast. One of the first things a potential employer or Recruiter does when your resume falls on their desk is check your social media profiles. And if they don’t like what they see, it doesn’t matter how qualified you are. Your resume is moved to the “nope” pile.
That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few quick tweaks, you can clean up your social media presence and move your resume directly into the “yup” pile. Keep reading for our pro tips on how to make your social media presence work for you, not against you.
Audit your social media profiles
The first step is to open up each and every social media profile in your name – everything from Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat to LinkedIn. A quick note: Even if a social profile isn’t under your exact name (i.e. you have a username), if it can be linked to you personally, you should include it in your audit.
Change the settings
Now, make a decision as to the best setting – public or private – for each and every profile. Obviously, since you are on the hunt for a new job, your LinkedIn profile should be as public as possible. As for the rest, make an educated decision. For example, if your Twitter account has 1,247 tweets dating back to 2010, you may want to set the account to private rather than scroll back through your archives looking for issues.
Make sure your “branding” is uniform
The final step is to make sure your personal brand is consistent across every platform. You need to take this step even if you have changed the settings to private.
To start, take a look at your profile photos (and cover photos, if you are using Facebook and Twitter). In most cases, these pictures are visible even if your content is set to private. Now, consider whether the photo you’re using would look bad to a potential employer? Ideally, you should opt for a photo that conveys a professional message; avoid swimsuit pics, drinking alcohol pics, controversial hand signs, and so on. Once you are sure you have the right photo, add it to every social profile for a uniform look. Do the same for cover photos.
Now, take another look at any profiles you’ve left public. Make sure any posts, tweets or pins are appropriate. Delete or hide the ones that aren’t. It can’t be said enough that a single Facebook post or insensitive tweet can be enough to make or break your job chances.
Finally, take a good long look at your LinkedIn profile. You want to make sure it stands on its own as a sort of “digital” resume. Does your headline (aka tagline) feature your current job title or dream job title? (Hint: It should.) Is your work history easy to read, engaging, and reflective of your experience? Do you have recommendations from previous employers? In this day and age, with your information just a click away, making sure you are “on point” is more important than ever.