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Don’t Let Social Media Keep You From Getting a Job
Posted By timparker On 02/20/2012 @ 2:21 pm In Personal Finance | 4 Comments
It’s a whole new job hunting world thanks to the internet. When our parents were graduating from college as young twenty something’s, all they had to do was make sure that they had quality references, no criminal record, and stellar transcripts and that was all of the reputation management that was required. There weren’t companies charging tens of thousands of dollars to protect companies’ and individuals’ online reputation and unless we were well known in our field, our reach wasn’t world wide.
That isn’t the case anymore. Thanks to the internet and more specifically, social media, what we say and do is public knowledge. Thanks to camera phones (that can also record a pretty nice video) everything we say and do is captured for a lifetime and those pictures, movies, and comments are online for anybody to find unless you do something about it. If you’re entering the professional world after college, it’s time to get your online reputation cleaned up. Here’s how.
Let’s start with the obvious. Quite possibly the best thing to do while you’re actively looking for a job is to shut down your Facebook account. You can delete the pictures in your album but what if somebody tags you in a less than flattering pose at one of those postgame parties? If you’ve only used your Facebook page in a more professional capacity, leave it up but remove anything even remotely controversial. The best question to ask may be, “is there anything that is going to impress a hiring manager?” If the answer is no, shut it down.
Make your feed private. Just like Facebook, don’t take the chance that somebody will stumble upon something that you forgot was there. Once again, if you’ve only used Twitter to promote a professional, industry affiliated blog or something else that would impress somebody looking to hire you, it’s ok to leave it up.
Having a LinkedIn profile is a great idea but if you’re going to have it, make sure it’s complete and just as impressive as the resume you sent to prospective employers. LinkedIn is going to put your attention to detail on display so make sure it’s the perfect representation of you. Finally, make sure that there isn’t anybody in your LinkedIn friends that doesn’t represent you well. (Might want to leave the person with the swimsuit model profile pic off your profile)
Google yourself. Is everything that comes up on the first five pages information that you’re happy to have a hiring manager find? You might find a lot of links to your social media profiles so it’s a good idea to Google yourself as soon as possible to get rid of those entries allowing Google ample time to reindix it out of their results.
If you have information online that you can’t get rid of, consider starting a blog. Google loves new information and a professional blog where you establish yourself as an authority in your field by frequently writing about it will not only impress a hiring manager but it will push the old, less than flattering information deeper in to the Google results. Keep in mind that this will take a lot of time since you’ll want to post quite frequently but it’s a powerful way to give you an online presence that will impress those considering you for a position in their company.
If you’re just starting college and still have a few years until you apply for a job, think about what you’re posting online about yourself. College is supposed to be fun but you can have fun at a much lower price if that’s your only goal. College is ultimately going to lead to a job so set yourself up early for the best possible chance to make an outstanding first impression.
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