When you’re in school, you might not think twice about posting those pictures of you shot gunning beer in the student dorms. However, it is no secret that job recruiters are scouring the social media profiles of prospective employees to see who they’ll hire or reject. If you plan to search for a job any time soon, you’ll need to put your best foot forward online, and make sure job recruiters see your best qualities.
Privacy Settings First thing’s first: you shouldn’t have to censor yourself just to get a job. However, there are probably some personal posts that you don’t want the public to have access to. Information about where you live, party details, and potentially embarrassing snapshots should be for your friends’ eyes only. You can keep this information away from the public by digging around in your social media privacy settings and securing your posts for friends’ eyes only. Whenever you post news items that might be of interest to the general public (recruiters included), then you can always toggle that post to “public.” Tagged Photos While you might have locked down you own profile, there might be awkward pictures of you on other people’s profiles. For example, old college drinking pictures might be on the pages of your frat brothers or sorority sisters. You can unlink these photos from your account on Facebook by clicking on the “Remove tag” button. Next, contact the person who uploaded it, and ask them to please remove the offending picture. Search Listings There’s a common online culture saying: The Internet never forgets. This is partially true. You might be surprised to see what comes up when you search for your legal name and your old screen names. For example, you might dredge up old blogs, forum posts, and accounts that could send the wrong message to recruiters. Before you actively hit the job listings, make sure that you clean up your search listings by deleting old and unwanted accounts and posts beforehand. Know Your Rights In the U.S., recruiters cannot reject you based on your race, color, sex, religion, national origin, race, age, ability status, sexual orientation, and parent status. So you should not need to hide these things on your social media, because it is illegal for employers to discriminate against people based on these facets of identity. Searching for employment can be a stressful period in your life, but you can make the process much smoother by making sure that your public social media activity does not set off red flags. Use a combination of privacy settings and untagging photos to put your best foot forward. At the same time, make sure you know your rights, since you should never have to suppress your identity for recruiters.