How to clean up social media for jobs

In this guide we look at how to clean up social media for jobs. The article is written with job seekers in mind but every employee should keep this principles in mind as inappropriate social media posts could lead to dismissal.

Pretty much everybody has some kind of social media account or a digital footprint. If you were to Google yours or a friend’s name you will likely be presented with their Facebook details. If your accounts are open to the public it means that anyone can look at your pictures and comments. So what does that mean for your job search?

A common action an employer will take when receiving a CV is to search for that person online. They do this to gain further insight into that person’s life – probably out of curiosity, but mainly to delve into that individual’s personality. Are they a workaholic, are they a family person, do they like to fish or play football, do they seem to be partying all the time?

Every picture and comment tells a story, so does your online story portray the right message to a prospective employer?

Remove inappropriate pictures

The first place to start is your albums and pictures. Try to remove anything which doesn’t show you at your best – drunken pictures, naked pictures, and so on. Although you might have had the best of times on your stag party in Corfu, those antics may not put you in the best of lights from the employer’s perspective.

Check all of your accounts for picture which need to be taken down – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.

Remove inappropriate comments

We believe in freedom of speech, but certain strong political or religious views could go against the hiring manager’s. Whoever gets to read through your comments may not agree, and the thought of working with you may not sound desirable. Every company has a culture in which they want to share and promote within its workforce. Your social media accounts may not align with that culture, which could instantly mean rejection and no chance of an interview.

On the other hand, a well managed social account can add a lot of value to your job application. Pamela Skillings at Big Interview explains:

Twitter is an outstanding tool for building your personal brand – especially as it relates to your career or job search efforts. Your goal, when looking for a job, is to stand out in your field. You want people to recognize your name as an expert. While it’s great to have your little niche, or area where you’re the “go to” expert of choice, it’s equally important to display a broad understanding of your industry in general. Don’t overlook the importance of participating in Twitter conversations, chats, networking experiences, and general conversations to help you show off your deep understanding of industry-specific matters.

Don’t go public with everything

You don’t have to leave your Facebook account open to the public. So if you are worried what the employer might think then consider making it private. This can leave you to focus upon your LinkedIn account, which should of course be completely public and made readily available to the employer via a link on your CV.

Here’s how to build a killer LinkedIn profile to complement your CV.

Now you know how to clean up social media for jobs, be sure to include your employer-ready LinkedIn and Twitter handles on your CV. These are typically included in the contact section. Click here for our free CV template.

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