Clean Up Your Social Media (before beginning your job search)

August 20th, 2018

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” While this expression is a bit dated, the sentiment still holds up in the digital age. However, the way we make a first impression has vastly changed in the past 30 years, particularly when it comes to applying for jobs. Employers used to meet their candidates at a first interview. This gave each prospective employee the chance to craft their appearance, language, and overall impression to fit that specific interaction. But since the development of the internet, recruiters now have the opportunity to get a sense of their interviewees long before the first meeting. So how do you curate your online presence in a way that fits your professional life? Read on for four simple steps to cleaning up your social media. Privacy Settings First things first ~ check your privacy settings. By figuring out exactly who your audience is, you’ll be able to understand your personal boundaries on social media. If you want to keep your online presence secure, set all of your accounts to private. This will allow for only approved followers and friends to see your posts. However, there are definitely benefits to keeping a public profile, particularly if you’re working toward building a personal brand. If that’s the case, make sure to curate your social media feeds accordingly. Delete, Hide, Archive One of the major steps to curating a social media presence, is to get rid of all that doesn’t serve you. Everything from college party photos, to quirky online quizzes. If these posts don’t help you move your brand forward, then remove them from your feed. But before you get too carried away with that delete button, certain platforms allow you to store old posts without completely removing them. If you secretly love that mirror-selfie from a few years ago, opt to archive it on instagram, rather than delete the post entirely. You can also choose to hide tagged photos or old facebook updates from your profile. This allows you to maintain access to those memories without keeping them public. Google Yourself This will be one of the first steps for future employers, so why not get ahead of the curve. Take some time to search for yourself on the internet. See what pages, images, and posts are publically available. Then ask yourself: does this content accurately represent my personal brand and professional goals? If not, take some time to understand any potential miscommunications. Take it platform by platform. Does your instagram include duck-lip selfies or cohesive, quality photographs? Is your twitter filled with celebrity retweets or thought provoking industry posts? Do you have an inactive myspace page from 2007 that needs to be deactivated? This pruning process takes a bit of patience, but is totally worth it in the long run. Add Quality Content Now that you’ve done some successful internet housekeeping, it’s time to add relevant content to your pages. The overall goal when developing an online presence, is to demonstrate that you are an expert in your field. So take the time to write a concise, meaningful bio that speaks to who you are and what you do best. Upload a hi-res portrait to your platforms. While corporate headshots are a great option, any photo that is high quality, authentic, and professional will help develop your personal brand. And once you’ve set up the basics, get to posting! Develop a consistent schedule for posting insightful, industry-related content and you’re sure to impress more than just your future employers!