In today’s world, social media is about more than just connecting with your friends. One in three employers has rejected candidates because of something they found about them on the internet, and it’s becoming more and more likely that a hiring manager will actively look for you online. If you want to make sure you’re not one of the people who gets rejected for social media reasons, here are seven steps to take.
1. Have a Professional Social Media Presence
The first step you need to take is having a professional social media presence in the first place. Make profiles on some of the most widely used social media sites, like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, that are for your professional presence. Here, you should only post about professional things, depicting yourself in a more professional light.
2. Make Your Personal Presence Very Difficult To Find
On the other hand, you want to make it very difficult for your employer to find your personal presence online. That may mean making your personal profiles private, not using your real name on these profiles, and switching up the usernames you’re using. That way, even if your potential employer searches for you, they’ll have a very hard time finding you.
3. Add Your Professional Presence to Your Resume
Ideally, you want your employer not to even search for you in the first place. One of the best ways you can do that is by listing your professional social media presence on your resume directly. This indicates that you know how important a great online social presence is for jobs in the 21st century and that you want to make it easier for your employer to check how you appear online. They’ll be less likely to do their own search for you and you’ll make a good impression.
4. Have Good Photos on Your Professional Presence
Here are a few types of photos you want to avoid when it comes to your professional online presence:
- Anything inappropriate
- Default profile pictures
- Pictures that don’t show you
- Pictures that are blurry or pixelated
- Pictures that make use of face filters
- Pictures that were taken more than four or five years ago
You don’t need to go get official headshots taken, but at the same time, you shouldn’t just use whatever pictures you have on your computer. A nice selfie taken in great lighting with minimal editing will work just fine if you don’t have any headshots.
5. Follow People in Your Preferred Industry
On your professional social media accounts, it’s a good idea to follow people who are already popular in the industry you’re currently looking at. For example, if you want to be a software developer, follow people who are professional software developers, including everyone from indie designers to well-established professionals. If your boss looks at who you’re following, they’ll know you’re serious.
6. Actually Use Your Account
This is an important thing to remember. You can’t just create a professional account, make three posts on it, and call it a day. You have to actually use your account. Try to remember to log in at least once or twice a week, make or share some posts, and follow some more people. That way, it won’t seem like your professional account is just a smokescreen to throw off a hiring manager.
7. Scan for and Delete Old Profiles
The internet never forgets, but sometimes, the memories the internet keeps around are a bit more embarrassing than they need to be. That edgy Instagram account you made when you were 14 might not cross your mind much anymore, but when a hiring manager searches you up, it might be there. With PeopleFinders, you can delete old profiles before the hiring manager gets ahold of it. Perform a reverse email lookup with as many email addresses as you can remember to see whether there are any skeletons in the closet that you don’t even remember.
A social media presence can say a lot about who you are, and that means hiring managers are starting to use them to understand the person behind the resume. If you know a hiring manager might look at your online presence, you can preemptively prepare for it. Create a professional presence and check on your internet footprint with PeopleFinders to make sure they only find what you let them find.
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