Your online presence, or what you share on social platforms, matters. Many job seekers have been creating and sharing social content for at least a decade. However, chances are they’ve only been crafting resumes and cover letters for a few years. This gap in time means that there’s much more social media or online content for a job seeker than what is portrayed in the resume and cover letter.
While resumes and cover letters are essential materials for hiring managers, so is your online presence, since most will do a quick search of your name online. Be sure that what they find will tarnish your professional qualifications and hurt your chances of getting a job.
How to Assess & Clean Up Your Online Presence
While you may not be able to go back and redo some decisions from your past, you can change what you publicize to the public moving forward. Here’s a simple guide for how to assess and clean up your online presence.
Conduct a Search on Yourself
Before you go through your social media profiles, first do a search so you can see how much work you have to do. First, use a regular search engine, then use the individual social networking site’s search feature. Be sure you look at what a connection sees, in addition to what a person who you are not connected with is able to view. Don’t assume a hiring manager will not be a connection. If they request a connection on LinkedIn, you will want to accept it, so you’ll have to consider what content you want to share with your connections as well.
Clean Up Content
Now that you’ve made notes about some things you want to clean up with your social accounts, check to be sure you plan to address these issues:
- no bad-mouthing co-workers or employers, past or present;
- no pictures or posts that clearly illustrate irresponsible behavior;
- no dirty laundry rants or “TMI” posts;
- no fanatical political content; and
- any troll, fake accounts, or inappropriate comments or posts made by others on your account.
While this may seem like strict rules to follow, you need to understand that when you are looking for a job, it’s more important to be mature and professional than to express every emotion or thought that occurs during your day. A company will consider your professional experience first, but they will also want to hire a person who fits within their culture and who they can trust.
Create Positive & Professional Content
Even though there are rules, you shouldn’t feel as though you can’t express anything. In fact, you can do a lot on your social platforms that can aid in your job search:
- create a personal website or blog to showcase your talent, knowledge, or perspective;
- make all your social profile pictures the same for easy identification;
- add details of volunteer work, charity interests, hobbies, certifications or licenses, etc.; and
- keep your social profiles, especially LinkedIn, updated.
There are several ways to express yourself in a professional and mature way that will allow employers to see your qualifications and your personality without getting distracted by some irrelevant posts from the past.
Find the Job That is Right for Your Career
Find the jobs you want and get help with your resume or other career questions by contacting CRS.