Social media has not only changed the way in which we communicate with one another, it has also changed the way in which we look for job opportunities. With more and more employers utilizing platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin, job hunting on these platforms has become easier then ever before. But one more thing has also become easier too: screening applicants! Employers and recruiters often check you out
the same way you are checking them out. This is why it is important to clean up your social media and/or online image. If right now you're saying "Me? I would never post anything inappropriate for a potential employer to see!", try a simple Google search of you're full name. If anything comes up which you wish hadn't, the content that relates to you on the web, especially via social media, may need a cleaning more so than you initially thought. Here is an easy three step method to cleaning up your on-line image:
Delete Existing Negative Content
Sometimes, this step is easier said than done. If someone else has posted something damaging about you or of you, it may require reaching out to them in order for the content to be removed. But remember: even if your Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin profile is riddled with inappropriate unprofessional content, there is always the option to delete the account entirely and start from scratch. Although this means you are losing contacts, it may be the best way to re-brand yourself entirely, as well as help you to make wiser decisions about who you decide to network with in the future.
Create New Content
Once all that negative content is gone, start filling up you're social media and professional profiles with positive content. Whether it be work related, school related, or even nice weather related, maintaining positive content is key in order to successfully re-brand yourself and in order to squash all that preexisting negative content. As already mentioned, you may need to start you're Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin profile from scratch; but no worries! Re-branding yourself takes time but will be worth it in the end when recruiters start to call and e-mail you with job opportunities!
Ensure Consistent Maintenance
Now that you have re-established yourself online, be consistent and try and maintain you're newly created online image! Ensure that all you're online content is in line with both personal and career related goals and also follow, friend, or link with fellow professionals in your field or sector. Another great tip is to utilize advanced settings and filters so you can control what others can post about you as well as control who can see you're content and who can post content linked to you're name or profile.
So now that you've got a squeaky clean online presence, you can now confidently share you're Linkedin URL under "Contact Info" on a resume or add that Twitter handle to you're business card knowing that you're image online is a positive reflection of what you have to offer employers and recruiters. If you'd like more tips, check out "Find a Job Through Social Networking: Use Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and More to Advance Your Career" by Diane Crompton and Ellen Sautter, a book you can find here at the Resource Centre! Thanks for reading!