In a recent poll, 18 percent of employers reported finding content on social networking sites that caused them to avoid hiring a candidate. Let’s face it: if you don’t want a future employer to see it – don’t post it! Or, if you’ve already posted it, here are a few tips for cleaning up your social media accounts so you can get hired.
Consider Your Privacy
Review your privacy settings for connecting on Facebook. Consider whether you’d want a potential employer to have access to your friend list or see your likes, dislikes and other connections. If the answer is no, make sure your setting for those options reads friends only. If you want to display your education degrees, on the other hand, make sure “Everyone” can see your credentials.
Choose What You Share
It may be wise to limit access to information like status updates, photos and other posts; photos and videos you’re tagged in; places you check in to; and religious and political views. You can also remove or edit any potentially controversial information from those areas. If you’re concerned about age discrimination, don’t include the year you were born.
Review Facebook Photos
- Even if you’ve restricted most elements of your Facebook profile to friends only, play it safe by reviewing all photos of yourself and removing or untagging any pictures you wouldn’t want a human resources department to see. Make sure your profile photo is attractive and projects maturity.
- More than half of human resource workers surveyed cited provocative or inappropriate photos and information as the biggest reason they didn’t hire someone.
Hide Some Friends
Review your Facebook profile’s wall. Potential employers will judge you by the company you keep, so hide any posts or friends who might reflect poorly on you. Move your cursor to the right side of a post you want to remove, click the “X” that appears, then click on “hide this post” to remove just that item, or “hide all by” to remove all posts by that friend.
Proceed Cautiously to Impress Hiring Managers
Now that you’ve cleaned up your Facebook profile for potential employers, proceed cautiously with future postings. And, whatever your status update, don’t use emoticons to express yourself: 12 percent of employers who use Facebook as a screening method say they would not hire someone who uses them.
Read this additional article for more information on cleaning up your Facebook account.
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