Your weekend got a little out of control so you tweet about your wild adventures to your friends. Your friends return the favor by tagging you in an unflattering photo on Facebook. You all have a good laugh and move on with your life. A year from now you go for a new job and a recruiter discovers the image and asks you about it. Could that crazy digital exchange cost you a job opportunity?
Over 90 percent of companies use social media in their recruiting and hiring efforts, according to Forbes. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are the heavy hitters for recruiters, which means your digital presence will likely impact your ability to get a new job.
And it’s not just those crazy college photos that reflect poorly on your professional image. People of all ages rant when angry, post about provocative topics, and get fired up about political events. If you want the best shot at getting your dream job, the career experts at GetFive say you need to consider a professional rebranding of your social media presence.
Step 1: Google Yourself
Type in your name and see what pops up. You might be surprised what images and web pages you’re associated with. Clean up what you can based on the results.
Step 2: Do a Social Media Sweep
Having a digital presence is essential for the modern professional, but you should make sure what is available is projecting the image you want to convey. Sweep all social media accounts for questionable content and old or unflattering photos. You might also want to delete or unfriend old connections you no longer speak to or people who may not reflect well on your image.
Step 3: Refine Privacy Settings
You may want to set your personal Facebook page to private, but that doesn’t mean a mutual connection doesn’t have access to your page, so best to play it safe and go by the rule “Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your mother to see.”
Step 4: Get Active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn should get a lot of your focus as it is the main site for professional networking and recruiting initiatives. That means update your head shot and the experience sections. Highlight recent accomplishments and mention any awards you’ve received. Then, start interacting by commenting thoughtfully on industry posts, or, even better, publishing your own posts to demonstrate thought leadership.