If you are getting ready to begin your search for gainful employment, you probably have a lot on your mind. You will need to pull your resume from mothballs and fix it up a bit, create a smart cover letter and begin looking for those that are looking for your talent.
Even though you already have your work cut out for you, there is one vital aspect of job searching that you simply can’t neglect: your social media accounts. More and more employers are using social media accounts to check up on their prospective employees. You can learn a lot about your possibilities of landing a job by simply checking your online profiles.
Know where you can be found
You probably already have Facebook and LinkedIn, but this may not show you all the places that you are going to show up in an online search. Maybe you signed up for a dating site a few years back along with some ribald photos of you. Or maybe those same ribald photos were posted by a family member and you were tagged in them. Either way you probably don’t want your potential boss to find out about that.
You will certainly need to be careful about the social media sites you frequent regularly, but those that haven’t been seen for a while are equally important. If you are anything like most people, you probably don’t remember every single web account you have ever owned, and why should you? But you can get a clue by running an online search for your name and checking what appears. You can also run checks for your email addresses or screen names that you may have used in the past. Then email the webmaster and ask them to permanently wipe your information from the site.
You can bet your bottom dollar that any employee worth their salt will be running a Google search on you, and you want to make sure that what they find will be a glowing report. Imagine the horror if you were to miss a great job because of some ridiculous post your friend made about you years back?
Keep pictures G-Rated
When you upload your pictures online it is always good to make sure these are photos you actually want the world to see. Every photo is worth a thousand words and you have no idea how something innocent and playful could be taken seriously and threaten your good reputation. Even if you have deleted the picture, there is a good chance that it has not been forgotten online. This is why it is so important to be fully aware of the type of pictures you are posting and how they will be viewed by others who may not have such a grand sense of humor.
With this in mind, avoid posting pictures where you are naked or almost naked. Obviously, pictures of you drinking or partaking of any illicit substances will not look good on your resume, so keep them offline as well.
Facebook changes their privacy settings faster than you can change your mind, and nobody has time to reread the new settings each time this happens. So, next time you are logging on to Facebook, take a moment to make sure your privacy settings are all up to date. If you are seeking a job in the media your social accounts can be incredibly beneficial, ensure that you have great images – visit Social Plus to build your social accounts.
If you don’t have anything nice to say…
Your Twitter account probably doesn’t have any questionable pictures of you, but that doesn’t mean that some of the things you have said might not come back and haunt you. Unlike Facebook, which can be set to provide access only to friends and family, Twitter is a public thing and everyone and their brother will see the things you have said.
If a potential employer sees that you have posted some very questionable Tweets on illegal, inhumane, politically incorrect and otherwise offensive topics, they may not be thrilled about giving you a place in their organization.
For example, if you are a college grad looking to land a favorable job, your employer will not be happy about your post that condones cheating on exams or embellishing your resume to get a job. Now, you may think that your account is safe because it is protected, but many employers will ask to follow the Twitter feeds of their employees. Try and say “no” to that and you may raise some eyebrows.
Don’t insults/diss past employers
You may feel that you were unjustly fired from your previous place of employment and you may even be completely right. But don’t make the mistake of sharing these feelings with the online crowd. Most employers view diatribes against past employers especially distasteful. It is only natural to be concerned that they could be signing on with a troublemaker.
If all else fails…
Ok, you may be a party animal at heart and soul, but an equally serious-minded professional. You may have a good reason to speak out against the treatment you received from some onerous place of employment. Consider making your voice heard but separate from your professional life as much as possible. But it may be equally prudent to just avoid problems altogether as you never know how your next employer will feel about your words or pictures.