Ensure your online persona reflects your “best self”
By: Vanessa Aguilar
Illustration: Ashley Siebels
According to a 2018 study conducted by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers check social media to screen candidates during the hiring process. (businessnewsdaily.com)
But before you think to yourself, “Why not just go MIA on social media before applying to jobs?” Well, the same study also suggests that going on a rampage and deleting all social media is not such a good idea either. The CareerBuilder study found that 41% employers who weren’t able to find any information online about candidates were less likely to interview them. It seems the best option would be to clean up any social media accounts to ensure your online persona reflects your “best self.”
Here is how:
Make a list.
This is important because it’s always good to see exactly where you need your focus. What social media channels have you opened over your life? There are probably more than your are initially thinking.
Think like a recruiter.
Think to yourself what you would like to see as a recruiter? What would you like your future boss to know about you? Are there any skills you would like to display?
This may be a no-brainer, but studies suggest that employers and recruiters will begin by googling you first. So, it’s a good idea to check exactly what your name is tied to online. Maybe you have risky content online associated with pictures or comments? This would be a great place to start when fixing photo settings and permissions on your accounts.
Make personal accounts more secure. Keep professional accounts public.
If you haven’t yet, this may be a good opportunity to make a professional Instagram or blog. Maybe you’re a good photographer and want to post professional photos on Instagram, or maybe you have excellent writing skills and would like to make a blog.
Review past blogs.
It is a good time to review all blogs you have, if any. Make sure the content you’re displaying is appropriate and professional.
Review all social media accounts.
Make sure there aren’t any negative rants you may have made during midterms on Facebook. (We get it, but employers don’t want to see that!)
Clean up any questionable content on all your social media channels.
Too many selfies, according to studies, may come off as being narcissistic. So keep selfies to a minimum.
Change online persona.
Time to really think about what you are trying to represent and reflect in your online persona. Some ideas: Conscious environmentalist, fitness junkie, hardworking student who won in the Bateman competition? Showcase your skills and talents.
Review names, URLs etc.
Make sure there aren’t any provocative words associated with your name online.
Post updated pictures of yourself, school functions or work environment.
You want your social media to reflect who you are today, not who you were five years ago.
Whether you’re a senior looking for a new job after graduation, or a freshman looking for your next internship, these 10 tips will help you send the right message to your future employer.
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