AUTHOR:
Kate T.

DATE:
September 7, 2015

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

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5 Ways to Prep Your Online Presence for a Career

AUTHOR:
Kate T.

DATE:
September 7, 2015

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

When you’re logging into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media site, your career probably isn’t top of mind. Most likely, you’re thinking about catching up with friends, sharing a funny story, or posting photos from your weekend. What you probably haven’t considered is potential employers could be looking at your profile as well.

Don’t get too worried! Your future employer is probably just looking to see if you would be a good fit for the company. With a few simple checks, you can clean up your online presence and make a good impression before you ever meet your hiring manager.

  1. Google yourself. If you haven’t done this, you certainly should. Look at web results and images that appear. Does anything make you pause? This is what a recruiter will see, so make sure anything linked to you is what you want them to see. Most likely any social media accounts for you will pop up first. If something pops up that you're not too proud of, be prepared to explain it if necessary.
  2. Check your privacy. Most social media sites allow you to view your profile from another user’s point of view, so look into what others will see. You don't have to lock down your social media completely. It’s nice to have some presence online, so you may want to have a public version of your profile (recent positions, name, and profile picture).
  3. Clean your likes. If you’re like me, at one point you had followed or liked just about every page you came across. It may have had a funny title, or you wanted to enter a contest. As you start to apply to jobs, it’s time to make sure your likes reflect a professional persona. You can still like your favorite bands, TV shows, or authors — you are human after all! In addition, you may want to show an interest in the company you are applying by giving them a like as well.
  4. Pick a good profile photo. Your profile photo is probably going to be the first impression you make, so choose something current, make sure it’s good quality and well lit, and have the photo actually be of yourself. Don’t worry about making sure that the photo was taken by a professional, just keep things natural.
  5. Know when to delete. While you don’t need to wipe your presence from the Internet completely, there are some items you’ll want to take down. If a recruiter’s research turns up inappropriate content, or bad mouthing of your former employer, that can easily color the recruiter's opinion of you. If any of these items are turning up on your profile, it’s time to click delete.

You don’t have to completely leave social media to land a job. Ultimately, a recruiter or hiring manager wants to see if you fit into the company’s culture. Your social media presence can help them do that. Follow these steps to help make sure they’ll like what they see!


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Kate T.

Kate is a graduate of Ohio University, where she studied Communication Studies. She now works as a Corporate Recruiter in Dayton, Ohio. She is an expert on corporate life, as she works with the Reynolds summer internship program and teaches business etiquette courses to college students. After work hours, Kate participates in the cornhole league, finds creative outlets for her DIY skills, and enjoys traveling to new places.