Keeping your online presence squeaky clean is essential to getting hired. Whether you’re a gig worker or hunting down an executive position, you don’t want to compromise your chances of getting hired by misrepresenting yourself. Even if the misrepresentation comes as the misunderstanding of another, it’s totally unnecessary and avoidable. Job seekers must remember that even to an inexperienced recruiter, most people are just a Google away. Cleaning up your online presence is essential to each and every job seeker. Here’s a complete look at how to keep your social media accounts clean and improve your digital identity.
How to clean up your online presence
Social media profiles need to be private and clean, with controlled content posted for public viewing. Your online persona and the way that you present yourself across social media channels, forums, and other message boards gives away a lot about you. Unfortunately, personal differences can strike you as a possibility for the job or position before you’ve even been considered properly. While we’re all entitled to live our personal lives as we want with unique political or social views, parading these for the world to see is never a good idea, and this is especially true to the determined job seeker.
Deactivate old accounts or accounts with excessive unprofessional content
Think back to all the things you’ve registered for and remember the profiles you’ve created but no longer use. You want to deactivate and preferably delete any accounts that aren’t in use. Similarly, if you’ve got an old social media profile that’s filled with party pics and no longer use it currently, then you may find it easier to deactivate and start a new one when, and if, you need it.
Change the privacy of your accounts
Every social media account or public profile will have privacy settings. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having all of your accounts set to private so that your posts are only viewable to family and friends. If you do opt to make all your social media accounts private-only, then we recommend that you consider opening and maintaining at least one public social media account for business use. You’re free to pick the network that suits you best, but most of us will already have Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, which opens up MyOpportunity, LinkedIn and similar business networks.
Hide or delete inappropriate posts
For some of us, this could take quite some time, but it is imperative. Go through your posts, the posts that you’re tagged in, and the posts shared with you and look for anything that could convey an oppositional opinion or controversial persona. Delete or change the privacy of anything that conveys too much of your personal life and beliefs. This includes removing all political posts, party pictures, social commentary of any sort, photos including shots of tattoos and piercing, and affiliations that may be considered taboo to others.
Update all of your public profiles
Show your prospective employer the person that you shine as at work across all of your online profiles. You want an online presence that gets you noticed as a person staying current and up to date with technology and social happenings. It subtly conveys a sense of interest and drive that everyone views as an asset. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to “live” on social media but maintaining recent, professional profile pictures and a well-written bio that conveys you in the here and now and now instead of a dated description from yesteryear goes a long way towards presenting you in the way that you want to be seen. Keep your profiles not only clean, but up to date and used at least infrequently. All information across your public profiles needs to correlate. Leave no room to question your integrity or representation as a brand, and make sure that all relevant data is there, up-to-date and correct.
If you haven’t done a deep dive on yourself, then put this atop your priority list. You’ll be amazed by the digital footprint that each of each leaves. Even if you are the type of person who barely uses social media and online community-based services, apps, and websites, take the time to research yourself. You won’t always find misformation or unprofessional representation, but most of us run into gaps and gaps leave room for the mind to wander. Don’t leave a potential employer guessing – rather find out what you look like as a potential hire online and answer questions before the person wanting to hire you thinks of them. In this way, you’ll always have optimal self-representation online.
Create an active presence online
Create an online identity that you’re in control of. A professional social media account doesn’t take more than a post a month to stay active, and using facilities like LinkedIn’s publishing platform lets you create in-depth discussions, case studies, or other articles about impactful info to your industry. Building a professional profile with meaningful contributions prove your work ethic beyond a doubt while presenting you as the innovative employee that every employer wants. Make sure that your photographs are professional in every way. This includes concealing tattoos and irregular piercings. These and other forms of body art are best explained in person once you’ve made the fantastic impression already.
Tell your story
The person that is seen online is the story that will be told in the eyes of anyone profiling you for professional purposes. Make sure that you’re represented not only correctly but optimally. This takes well-prepared profiles with good, current photos, a history of personable posts, well-written bios, good descriptions, and interesting blogs. The better you can bolster your online presence with good, clean content and intelligent posting that paints a picture of the perfect you for that job, the better you’ll do overall. Never let time waste away while you wait for potential hires to get back to you. Get online and start both hunting down new opportunities, while ever-refining your digital identity.