Tidying Your Social Media Profiles While Job Searching
Put your best digital foot forward in your job search by making sure social media is an asset, not a liability.
In the past decade, social media has slowly but surely blurred the line between personal life with professional life. This can be easy to forget, until you start a new job search. While you may be comfortable with your social life overlapping, you may also want to make sure you are putting your best professional foot forward with your online accounts. Here are five tips to cleaning up your profiles.
Check your privacy settings
Facebook provides a range of settings to allow your profile to be completely public to totally hidden. Most people will seek something in the middle, which allows their profile to be found in their network while keeping your posts private. On Facebook’s homepage, click on “privacy check-up” to see how your posts appear to others and adjust your settings accordingly. Other accounts such as Twitter and Instagram don’t allow this range of privacy settings, but allow you to make your public accounts private.
Consider secondary professional accounts
Social networks were originally created to connect with friends and family, but have since made their way to include colleagues and business associates. If you prefer to keep these worlds separate, you can create secondary social media accounts for “friendly” business associates. If you do use a professional account, fill out the profile with your work information and include a professional headshot.
Scan your history
Even if you choose to keep your accounts public, it’s a good idea to scan your social media history for any posts you may have forgotten about. You can do this by searching for your name with the “+” sign and any keywords. There’s also an app for that. The service Scrubber will look up your history and flag any potential posts that you may want to delete, such as ones with profanity or politics.
Use workplace social tools to communicate in the office
Because social media is convenient, it has replaced email for some everyday forms of communication in the workplace, which creates further blurring of the lines. Fortunately, there is an alternative for those who wish to keep the convenience of social media with the workplace focus of email. Interoffice communication tools such as Slack, Basecamp, Google Drive and Facebook for Work provide the group collaboration and familiar design interface of social media, while creating a place just for work.
Share for the job you want
The adage “dress for the job you want” also applies to social media: Share for the job you want. Social media can be an asset in this regard, not a liability. Use your platforms to follow the companies you’re interested in and share their content if it’s interesting to you. To help you decide what to share, use the “So what?” test: Is this helpful? Is it entertaining? Is it something I’d be comfortable with my boss or mother seeing?” If yes, share it. Read more about how to decide what to share in social media.