Wondering why you’ve been hitting bumps in your job search as a young millennial? Out of all the possibilities, have you ever wondered if your job applications could have been marred by what you’re showing the world on social media? It’s time for you to clean up social media profiles!
You need to give your social media accounts a good dusting out once you’re getting out of school, to show your best self to potential employers. Undergraduate and polytechnic interns will benefit from these social media clean-up tips as well! Here are three steps you can take to clean up your social media accounts.
1. Google yourself for a heads up before you clean up social media profiles
Insert different permutations of your full name into that magic Google search bar. Then hold your breath in case you’re shocked by what you’ll see! There you go, all the bits and pieces of your dark past comes floating back. Just kidding.
This is just to have a gauge of what employers especially hiring managers may see, if they’re indeed curious cats. Online published content of yourself can range from past media interviews, that you have given, lucky draw entries and even tutor profiles on a few tutoring ad sites when that was your side hustle as an undergrad. Check if you can remove any of these which you may not want to be dug up. In the future, use an alias if you must to enter that lucky draw. This is step one to knowing how to clean up social media profiles.
After you have Googled yourself, the worst is still not out of the way yet. Let’s take a long and hard look at your social media profile as a private investigator would. Hmm. Your usernames, profile pictures, one-liner introductions and and status updates are clearly public on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! Are you proud of them and think they are decent enough to be viewed by your potential employers? Ask yourself questions as you clean up social media profiles.
Some of you might want to go the extra mile to establish two accounts, to keep personal and professional affairs separate. This comes in handy if your boss and colleagues are also keen to add you on Facebook as well, or even your clients. This could be the case if you’re handling sales and will be building personal relationships with your clients. Indeed the lines between our private and professional lives are often blurred today. It’s up to you to keep up a good impression to people who matter to you (and your bank account balance)!
3. Remove access to everything not safe for work
First impressions count. Your grandmother was not lying to you although she did not sit for a course on social media management. Delete, censor and restrict access to any content on your Facebook, Twitter or Insta that is not safe for work (NSFW). Keep what is PG and work-appropriate. Partying pics, revealing attire, and good ol’ rants about the universe or life — it sure feels good to dust out these messy digital footprints you’ve chalked up over the years especially when you were just a newbie in college.
Consciously screen what you are portraying out there into the social media universe, for this is part of your professional image given the cyber world we live in today! Employers are spying through social media to screen and possibly eliminate candidates. Don’t let anything overshadow an otherwise promising application. Godspeed!