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How to Keep Your Social Media from Ruining Your Job Prospects

It’s a fact: hiring managers will google you and find your social media. They will look it over. They will use it to help them to make a decision on whether or not to hire you. Social media can help you or hurt you. Use this article to help you with the former.

· You absolutely should start working on your social media before you start searching for a job. That way you’re not scrambling the day before an interview fixing everything.

· Google yourself. See what a hiring manager will find. It’s where they will start; it’s where you should start. If you find anything you need to fix or remove, then do so. Keep in mind there may be something you can’t remove, like a news article on an arrest. If you can’t and it’s negative, be prepared to discuss it.

· If you have a LinkedIn profile, make sure it’s up to date and pristine. No errors, no misrepresentations, etc. You’ll create an impression with your profile even if the hiring manager doesn’t read every detail. Misspellings and grammatical errors will make you look sloppy. LinkedIn will be a reflection of your professional personality. Make sure it’s a good one.

· Look over the rest of your social media from a hiring manager’s point of view. Pictures or videos of drinking and drug use, sexually explicit content, guns, criminal behavior and so on will not go over well at all. Neither will rants about a former employer or a lot of swearing. Even posts concerning fervent religious or political views can be a turn off (Yes, discriminating over religion is illegal, but it still could happen). If a post seems questionable, better safe than sorry.

· Consider the amount you post. You want to be active on your social media, but excessive posting may give the impression that you will spend more time tweeting than working.

· Inform your friends that you are job searching. Ask them you be careful about the posts they tag you on or anything that may show up in a search or on a timeline. No point if you’re removing negative posts if your friends pop one online.

· What’s your handle? Is it appropriate? It’s okay to show some personality but going by sexkitten or thuglife is likely to create a negative impression.

· Edit your remaining posts. Correct misspellings and grammar errors. No point in saying you have excellent communication skills on your resume if it’s not reflected in your everyday life.

· Privacy settings. There’s two schools of thought on this. Some would say to set your privacy so employers cannot see your content. Others say doing so will make it look like you have something to hide. I tend to agree with the later mainly because your social media can be used to gain favorable results in your job search.

Now that you’ve cleaned up your social media, here’s where you start adding and perfecting it. You do want to show your personality. That’s a main reason a hiring manager will look over your social media. They want to see if you’ll be a good fit.

· Post positive pictures that reflect your best self or hobbies. If you a runner, post that picture of you finishing that 5K. Volunteer? Show a picture of you working with your organization.

· Start following. Follow businesses/blogs in your industry. Follow some uplifting blogs. Follow charitable organizations that are close to your heart. Follow that theatre or sports team that you have season tickets to. Follow that person you find inspirational.

· Post about an event you’re attending that weekend. Post inspirational quotes or articles. Post about life in general; just keep it upbeat.

· Join career relevant groups. Also don’t be afraid to join groups that are of interest to you. Again avoid anything potentially controversial.

Take a day or two and then look over your social media with a fresh eye. How does it look? Are you thinking like a hiring manager? Do any other edit that you may need and then move on with your job search confident that your social media represents you in the best possible light.

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