In today’s modern world, our personal and professional lives are intertwined more than ever before. While that can be a positive thing, it can also lead to additional scrutiny of job seekers by potential employers. Whether you like it or not, if they have access to your social media feeds, recruiters may already be making judgements of you as a job candidate based on what you’ve posted online. Here are some tips for getting your social media accounts in tip top, job search ready shape.
Update your profile picture
A selfie of yourself during a night out with your friends should not be your main profile picture no matter how good you look, especially on your LinkedIn profile. While you don’t have to have professional photos done, you can improve your photo by using a simple background, dressing professionally, and using natural lighting whenever possible. Have a friend take a photo for you, or use a self-timer on your camera.
Update your information
Is your profile updated with your latest position? Have you gone back to school? Was there a certification you recently earned? How about any online courses that you took? Did you volunteer for an organization? Now is the time to put your best foot forward and tackle making the updates that you might have been putting off. When you can, ask for a recommendation from a colleague or supervisor on LinkedIn that attests to your professional skills and experience.
Follow companies you are interested in
If a recruiter was to review your social media profiles right now, what would he or she think based on the pages that you follow or like? If nothing on your profile speaks to your professional interests and goals, follow some of the companies you are interested in. Are there any industry magazines or newspapers that you subscribe to in print? Go ahead and add them on your social media accounts to help paint a well-rounded picture of you as a job seeker.
Clean up unnecessary content
This is probably the most important part of a social media audit. If you’re unsure whether to remove a post based on its content, the safest bet is to take it down. Review tagged photos of yourself and filter out the ones that may be inappropriate for a professional setting. Did you recently post an angry, expletive-filled rant? Yeah, you probably want to delete that. Review your past activity and view it from the lens of a recruiter—how do you want them to perceive you?
Review your privacy settings
When was the last time you reviewed your privacy settings? Perhaps there was a major privacy update that was recently pushed out to users? Review your settings regularly to confirm that nothing has changed. If you maintain separate friend lists for sharing content online, review the individuals on those lists to confirm that they are in the correct category.