Cleaning up your social media footprint

Cleaning up your social media footprint

The hiring process is now simpler for both businesses and candidates thanks to the digital age. Candidates can almost immediately learn whatever they want to know about possible employers by utilising social media. However, this goes both ways, and chances are your prospective employer is doing the same to learn as much as they can about you online.

Social media has the power to give people a public, yet quite intimate, look into our lives. Our social media presence can give companies a more complete, accurate picture of who we are than our resumes ever could. Because of this, businesses are using social media to hire new employees more frequently.

When it comes to a candidate’s job search, their social media is rarely one of their main focuses. However, your social media presence does actually have the potential to either make or break your job prospects.

But don’t be alarmed. You can prevent your social media presence from ruining your job by taking a little extra time and care.

Here are Kiwi Recruitments top tips for ensuring social media doesn’t ruin your job prospects.

Googling yourself

Even while most people say not to Google yourself, this is one of the few instances where it is beneficial to do so. You may control your online reputation by conducting a Google search under your name to see what information is available about you.

We recommend using incognito mode when you go to Google yourself. By doing so, it means your search results won’t be affected by your browsing history, meaning you’re more likely to see what your potential employer will see.

If you discover anything offensive, change your privacy settings (we’ll cover that in more detail later) or, if you’re able to, delete the offending post.

However, you do want some information about you to be public. Keep it there if there is any positive or helpful information available.

Is my profile picture sensible?

First impressions matter. Your profile photo will inevitably be the first thing a potential employer sees when searching for you on a social media platform. You don’t want to portray an unfavourable image of yourself because how you seem in your profile photo can give people an idea of how you are in real life.

This doesn’t mean you need to use a professional headshot, but make sure whatever photo you choose is somewhat respectful and would give a good first impression to anyone viewing it.

It’s worth noting that, no matter how much you tweak your privacy settings on all your social media profiles, your profile picture will always be visible publicly. Make sure you’re happy with it.

Consider having multiple accounts

Most users of social media are accustomed to using it only for personal purposes. A second, professional account may, however, be advantageous for some; this is more typical on Twitter and Instagram than Facebook.

Many of us can’t always be trusted to hold back when we are online and lots of profanity and strong opinions is unlikely to be seen all too favourably by a potential employer. This is where setting up a professional account that is entirely focused on your career could be beneficial.

Completely unlinked to your personal accounts, a professional account will allow you to better present yourself while also enabling you to network with other people within your chosen sector.

Controlling your privacy settings

Again, the settings vary from network to network but in general, you can use them to make yourself more difficult to find in searches, hide your entire profile from anyone you’re not connected with, or just hide particular pieces of content unless you’re connected with them.

One of the best methods to hide yourself online and stop potential employers from seeing any embarrassing or damaging images is to change your privacy settings. To take things a step further and make oneself less searchable, you may even use a different name, such as a nickname, for your personal accounts.

Don’t just pay attention to photos

You should make sure you are aware of all of your interactions on social media as well as the pictures you upload online.

It’s important to keep in mind that even though you might have set your profiles to private, other people you connect with might not have. A potential employer might still be able to find any conversations you’ve had on someone else’s profile.

They will judge how well you communicate with others based on the tone and content of your social media chats. Be aware of any harassing or discriminating remarks you may have made, whether they were in one of your own posts or another person’s.

Don’t delete your profile

While the fear of potential employer discovering something that’s embarrassing at best, and career-damaging at the worst could tempt you to completely erase all your profiles… It is completely unnecessary and could actually backfire.

Having all of your social media accounts deleted may also give the impression that you are attempting to cover up something. Employers may be discouraged from employing you or even interviewing you as a result of this since they may assume the worst about you and come to the exact opposite conclusion of what you intended.

Additionally, even if you delete your profiles, some information may still turn up in a Google search, so it’s important to keep that in mind. While it may be daunting, regularly auditing your social media accounts to keep them clean is a much better method.

Don’t stop once you’ve found a job

Although the job search has received a lot of attention here, it’s crucial to continue monitoring your social media accounts even after you land a job. Even if you already work, your social media presence could hurt your chances of finding a new job.

Different companies have different policies on how their employees can use social media to interact with other members of the company, particularly with more senior members of the company. Most tend to not allow employees to connect with these senior members on personal social networking platforms. Even if there isn’t a policy preventing this, it’s advisable to keep your managers off your network or limit what they can see on your profile.

Read more articles and news from Kiwi Recruitment here

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