Social media can be a wonderful thing. It is how grandparents can see their children and their grandchildren’s vacation picture, how people can catch up with old friends from their childhood, and it’s where you can find out if the new restaurant in town is one you want to try. But even with all these benefits, we all know there are some real drawbacks. People get to see into your life through videos, pictures and posts, whether your own or ones you are tagged in. We want to help you make sure that your social media is clean, so the world sees the best you.
The world changed with social media in many ways, but one big way is that people you don’t even know can find you via the internet. Interviewees will look you up. They will want to know who they are meeting and what to expect. It works the other way around, too; I looked up who I was interviewing with on my last job interview. The number one thing someone will see are your profile photos. Make sure they are clean–no party pictures or anything like that–just a nice, simple photo of you. Also, if you write a biography paragraph for your page, reread it. Make sure what you wrote a few years back is still what you want to portray to the world. First impressions matter, and in the social age, you don’t even have to be there for it.
Next, check your privacy settings. If you set it so that friends can see most of your information and the outside world cannot, you’re not only safer but you’re also being smarter. By changing your privacy settings, you control what people see when they look you up. That way if your friend tags in you a picture that you wouldn’t post yourself, your potential future place of employment won’t see it when they find your page. You can adjust your security settings to make it so they can only see what you want them to see. Limiting it to every profile picture or just your current one, the power is in your hands. You know what you want seen and what you don’t want seen.
Even after changing your privacy settings, make sure to clean up your social media. Eventually people in the professional world may find you or friend you. Do you really need your college party pictures front and center? I go through my social media every six months. I untag photos I prefer not to be seen and delete old posts and pictures I have grown out of. Let your socials grow up with you. You can save the memories without sharing them with the world. Maybe make some private albums that only you can see. It will help you in the long run.
Cleaning up your socials will help you move forward in your career. So, take 20 minutes and peruse your Instagram and Facebook. Whether it is for a job interview or in case you become friends online with HR, it’s nice to know they won’t see anything you’d rather leave in the past.