Your online image is very important right now! If you are currently in the process of applying for college, an internship or trying to get a job, you should take a few minutes to ensure that your online presence is clean and professional. This doesn’t mean that you should be fake or change your entire profile, but make sure that if a potential employer tries to find more information about you, they will find things that are positive, and that will make them want to have you on their team even more.
This doesn’t mean that you should be fake or change your entire profile, but make sure that if a potential employer tries to find more information about you, they will find things that are positive, and that will make them want to have you on their team even more.
Recent research shows that around 45 percent of employers admit to checking potential employees social media, and 1 in 3 employers rejected candidates based on something they found online about them. So don’t hurt your own chances and start using social media to build your personal brand!
This is such an easy thing to do— search your own name and see what information comes up. From there, you can start to curate your social media in favorable ways.
If you find negative information under your name such as mean comments or explicit or inappropriate pictures on your social media or someone else’s, make sure to delete them and ask the other people involved to do the same.
Delete Anything That Doesn’t Show Your Best Self
People are diverse and different, with many interests and characteristics. But remember, anyone that is searching you doesn’t really know you, so don’t give them reasons to think of you in an unfavorable light.
Delete anything such as: provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos, or posts; posts or photos that include drinking or using drugs; discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc.; content that complains about a previous employer or colleague (or anyone, in general), posts that are overly cynical, rude, or mean. Also, restrict tagging so you have to approve any pictures other people would want to show on your profiles.
Don’t Post Only Selfies
It’s not that it’s not okay to post selfies! We love selfies just as much as the next person. As a matter of fact, social media that has no pictures of yourself is somewhat suspicious. However, if your feed only consists of pictures of yourself, it could potentially show that you only care about, well, yourself.
A potential employer could read that you have the same attitude in the workplace, which is not good. Showing pictures of your friends, family, your pets (you name it) says that you are a people person and that you value relationships, which is a great characteristic to have in the workplace.
Share Your Interests and Passions
On that same note, do share anything that can give possible employers a sense of who you really are as a person, what are you interested in and what you love. We recently talked to a hiring manager that told us that when she is going through someone’s Instagram profile, she is looking for people that have, and we quote, “nice pictures, likes to go to museums, art, traveling, is well-read, interesting. Someone that I would feel comfortable working closely with me and my team.”
According to more research by Career Savvy UK, the main reasons employers decide to hire someone after searching them online are because they seem to have a good personality (50%), they have a professional image (57%), their background information was accurate (49%), and they showcase a wide range of interests (57%).
So showing pictures or making blog posts about your art, your favorite books, your interest in sports, movies, nature, travels, etc., is actually a great way of showing who you are and what you stand for.
Just make sure that the posts show that you are someone who has a professional image, is friendly or positive, responsible and well-rounded. While you are at it, make sure you have a nice, professional profile picture, since this is literacy the first thing everyone will notice.
Set Your Profile to Private
Even though we don’t advise setting all your social media private (employers think that it’s suspicious when they can’t find absolutely anything about you online) we think that is a good idea to at least have some of your profiles private if you don’t want anyone but you and your selected group of friends reading and watching your online interactions.
You should have your LinkedIn public (if you don’t have an account, you should create one—most employers are recruiting through this social media account) and your Instagram public (if you curate it right, this is the best social media account to show what you like, who you are and what you stand for).
Facebook should be on private and you should show only your current, professional profile picture. Your photo albums and statuses should be kept invisible to non-friends, and again, be careful to delete any inappropriate pictures from your photos and the ones you are tagged.
Also, when was the last time you checked your “groups”, “follows”, and “likes” section? Make sure that the things you liked 5 years ago still reflect who you are today, and if they don’t, unlike, unfollow, and get out of any groups you shouldn’t be a part of.
Hopefully, these tips will help you have a better sense of how to portray yourself online. Remember, it’s about being yourself while showing how great you could fit in the company you want to work with. Be authentic and everything will work out! Still need more tips? Check this link to see how to build the perfect resume and this other one for tips on preparing for a summer internship.
Do you have other tips that could be useful for social media curation? Let us know what you think by tagging us on Instagram @glamandgowns, and Faviana’s Instagram @Faviana_NY and Twitter @FavianaNY.