When a company hires a new employee, it’s in their best interests to do their research. And today, that means having a sneak peak at your various social media accounts. From LinkedIn and Twitter to Facebook and Instagram, these platforms provide employers with a pretty comprehensive picture of who you are. And it’s totally legal for them to do so unless you explicitly state that you don’t consent for them to make use of your personal information.
As you start looking for a new job, it’s probably a good time to do a bit of a social media audit and tidy up your digital persona so that your online activities don’t hinder your job prospects.
Here are a few tips:
Search yourself: As a starting point - Google yourself. Any results you find will be just as easy for your new boss to find. By Googling yourself you’ll get a good idea of what information can be found about you online and what perceptions others may have of you based on this information.
Keep it private: We often forget that social networks are public spaces. If you’d rather not have your future employer sifting through your Facebook photos, it’s best to up your privacy settings so you approve who can and cannot see your posts. On platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter editing your profile requires a visit to the Settings tab and making posts private. Similarly, Facebook’s privacy settings allow you to limit posts so they can only be seen by your Facebook friends.
Conduct a social audit: If making your accounts private isn’t for you, it’s best to think twice before posting anything. As a general rule, less truly is more.
Curated content: In line with the last point, when on the lookout for a new job, think about your social networks as your brand. If you’re keen to work at a successful advertising agency, why not use social media to share interesting content about trends in the advertising space? This way, if the people interviewing you do happen to engage in a little social media stalking they’ll see that you have a genuine interest in what’s happening in the industry.
Being social media savvy doesn’t mean pretending to be someone else. It means giving prospective employers a positive opinion of your social media personality. They should walk away from checking out your social accounts thinking that you’re someone a company would be foolish not to hire.
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