Pictures of nights out with the lads, late night Twitter rants, public posts on your ex’s Facebook page? Admit it, you have probably done one of these or many other things that damaged your social media reputation, which will eventually emerge when the time to apply for a job arrives.
In this digital era, many employers base their decisions not only on how well candidates do in interviews, but also on how they behave outside the workplace.
Ron McGowan, author of the bestseller “How to Find WORK – In the 21st Century”, revealed in his book that “that about 40 per cent of the applicants reviewed by employers and recruits are rejected”.
For those of you who are finishing third year, making sure not to fall into this category is essential. Here’s what you should be doing to clean up your online profile:
- Do not post recklessly. I know this is like saying the best way not to get pregnant is to not have sex, but it is still your best shot. There is nothing to worry about if you spare a second or two before deciding to comment on something.
- Have a look through your social media platforms and make sure you haven’t posted anything offensive. Often when looking at Facebook or Twitter profiles, employers search for racist, sexist or any other discriminatory comments. Gossip and profanity are obviously a “mustn’t”.
- Photos are the key. You may seem like a nice, honest person, but if you still have those pictures of 2009 when you and your mates went to pub quizzes every night and ended up getting drunker rather than smarter, forget it. Pictures of that (illegal) graffiti tag you thought would be fun to do, or of those holidays in Greece in which you seem to be pretty much naked all the time, are a huge turn off for employers. Bare that in mind when you go to Pryzm next Friday.
- Think about your friends list. Generally speaking, having lots of friends on social media isn’t a problem. The problem arises when you have a friend that constantly tags you on photos, posts silly statuses or endless Kanye West songs in your profile. Not to break it to you, but you might want to delete him/her.
- Consider refreshing your likes and apps. Spending your whole day playing Candy Crush and liking all of Taylor Swift’s new videos is not acceptable at the workplace. It just isn’t.
- Youtube is fun, until you say something you shouldn’t have. Video blogs are usually harmless as they only convey your humble opinion about the new Mercedes/KIKO lipstick/how rubbish the Tory policy to cut corporation taxes is… wait, what? You might want to take that into consideration when applying for that Google job post.
- Invest your time on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile is your best shot at showcasing all your qualities and experience. Make it your online CV, update it regularly and connect with the people in your field that might be useful in the future. It looks really professional and employers love it.
- Make sure you have a professional email. The times of firstname.lastname@example.org are well behind now that you are in university and about to look for a real job.
- Finally, Google yourself. If you can still find any trace of nonsense that might have your name/email in it, remember: Internet is an dangerous place. Take it all down. Or change your privacy settings, so you get to keep your memories and your mates can still have a laugh 10 years from now. Unless you want to work for an intelligence company. In that case, take it all down and pray they won’t dig too deep.