Your social media activity is a representation of your personal brand and should be treated seriously. Managing your brand starts from the ground up and while you may think your friends/ following are the only people viewing your digital footprint, it’s important to remember what you post online stays there forever and is accessible by everyone.
According to Careerbuilder, 70% of employers search through potential candidates social media accounts during the hiring process. Social screening is now a crucial part of the hiring process and could be the reason you do or don’t get the job. Some questions you should be asking yourself before applying for jobs include: Is your digital footprint an accurate portrayal of you? And would you feel comfortable showing what you post to a future employer? If you answered no, it’s time to revise what you’ve posted and clean up your social media. This can be done with a few simple steps:
1. Google search your name
Google search your name and see if there’s anything inappropriate associated with you. Look through the first 5 pages as a minimum, as these will be the pages your future employer will be looking at.
2. Look through photos you have posted online
If you wouldn’t feel comfortable showing certain photos you have posted online to your employer, then it needs to be removed. During the social screening process, employers will be searching through your social media accounts and viewing every photo you have posted.
3. Change your privacy settings
Change your privacy settings on all of social media accounts. Make sure your posts, friends list and profile is only visible to you and your friends. As your social media is personal, it should be kept that way. If you want to add work colleagues or connect with them, make a new professional account. You don’t want a friend to tag you in a photo or status of you out partying on the weekend. This could tarnish your reputation and lower your chances of employment.
4. Check your Facebook feed
On your Facebook account click ‘view as’ and select ‘public’. This will show you what your future employer will be able to view. Go through and delete posts that are not proper.
5. Clean up your Snapchat
Snapchat is also an app that needs cleaning up. As Snapchat is linked to your mobile phone number a future employer accesses your account name by going to ‘add friends- contacts’. Make sure your Snap name is suitable and if it isn’t, change it. After this, change your privacy settings and make sure your stories are only visible to your friends. You don’t want an employer to follow you and see what you get up to in your spare time.
6. Change your email address
It’s important to make a good first impression and an email address is one of the first things an employer notices on your résumé. When making an email address, make sure it’s professional and is linked back to you. An example of this could be ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ as it indicates who you are and is professional. By including your name it will make it easier for employers to locate when they email you.