Social Media: Is Your Profile Hurting Your Employability?

Social Media

Today, almost everyone has a Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram account – grandparents, parents, and even companies have one. Social media and networks are a fun way to spend your extra time and connect with friends.

However, in the past few years, employers have been googling and looking up potential candidates on various social media platforms before inviting them in for an interview. Because of this, something that may seem harmless to you may end up becoming the deciding factor if you receive a job offer or not.

Here are a few things to consider when determining what kind of online persona you currently have or would like to have:

1. Use Google to search for your name. You may be surprised at what pops up or even find out that you are still a member of a long-forgetting social network!

2. Close all the accounts that you don’t use anymore.

3. Create separate social media accounts for personal and professional use. Many employers want you to “like” their company, add them as a friend, or follow them. Since it could be seen as a bag sign if you decline, use a different name on your personal accounts for added privacy.

4. Make sure the picture used for your profile is professional. Use the same picture across all your accounts.

5. Change your privacy settings so only your friends can view your page and photos. There are more options now for privacy, which allow you to put people in groups that have limited access.

6. Don’t send or upload anything that can be used against you by a disgruntled friend or significant other. There have been countless stories in the media of people being devastated from this happening.

7. You can change your Facebook settings so others cannot post anything on your wall. However, they will still be allowed to comment on your post. All personal interactions should be through the message option.

8. Consider joining social networks like LinkedIn. This way you can find people you worked for and create career-related connections. It is similar to having a more interactive resume online. Make sure your LinkedIn profile matches your resume or it can end up being problematic when an employer interviews you.

9. Never complain on your Facebook and Twitter wall or post something negative about your workplace.

10. People will make conclusions about who they think you are from the groups you have joined and the friends you are connected to. Join groups that are related to your field.

11. Use spell check and try not to use instant messaging acronyms. This will make a better first impression and will ensure that the potential employer understands what they are reading.

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