Your Digital Presence – How ‘Clean’ is Your Account?
Would you be happy for your employer to scroll through your social media accounts?
If the answer is no, you may want to consider ‘cleaning up’ your online presence.
A recent survey from Thisismoney.co.uk found that 7 in 10 recruiters check candidates’ social media accounts before interviewing and hiring. Another survey found that 43% of employers have eliminated a candidate following a social media search.
With many figures in the public eye facing scrutiny for social media posts from years gone by, it’s now more important than ever to ensure that the digital version of you is just as impressive as the original. You don’t have to change yourself, after all an employer wants you for you, but it is worth being mindful when posting content on the web.
Delete Harmful Content
A big no-no is sharing racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory posts. This not only puts off future employers, but also doesn’t make you look like someone other people want to engage with. Social media has become a huge platform for political opinion, but hateful content won’t get you far in your job search.
Similarly, ‘fake news’ is also becoming a significant problem, with Facebook vowing to crackdown on pages sharing false, and potentially harmful, information. Before sharing any content online, it’s always worth doing a bit of research yourself to determine whether what you’re about to share is truthful or not.
Check out your Profile Picture
Take a look at your profile picture. Would you feel comfortable attaching that image to your CV? If the answer is no, it’s worth considering using a picture which best reflects you and your interests. You can adapt your profile picture to different social media sites, for example, LinkedIn requires a higher level of professionalism than Twitter. Your picture doesn’t have to be too formal, but a simple photo of you smiling will look more appropriate than a photo of you downing Jagers at your mate’s stag do.
Update your personal information
Many social media sites contain an ‘About Me’ section. You can use this to give a short description about yourself and your interests. Make sure that the information highlights your best assets; a little brag can go a long way!
Edit your Privacy Settings
If you have information on social media that you’d rather not share with people outside of your friend list, privacy settings allow you to choose what you share, and don’t share, with others.
Post about your Job!
We’re not saying to write a status about how much you hate your boss, but showing you take pride in your work is a great way to impress your future employer. Even sharing content related to your industry shows enthusiasm and interest in sector developments.
It is also worth noting that some industry professionals have warned against posting too often during working hours. Pam Lindsay-Dunn, regional managing director at Hays and James Innes, advises via thisismoney.com, ‘Hiring managers will know if you are currently employed or not – so any social content you create or post during office hours should be work related otherwise you risk looking like your productivity has dropped and you’ve lost your focus.’
What are your interests? Are you mad for motors? Gaga for gaming? A fan of fish? Whatever it is, starting a blog or even just posting updates about a project you’re working on is a great way to communicate your skill set. You don’t have to pay for an expensive site of your own, social media has launched many blogger and vloggers’ careers and is totally free! Start with creating a dedicated Facebook or YouTube page and keep your followers up to date. Don’t be afraid to talk about this on your CV!
When you think you’ve finished, give your name a quick Google. Double check that no embarrassing or harmful content is associated with your name. If it’s all clear, you’re good to go!