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Branding Yourself: Using Social Media

Your hard work has paid off, and you’re finally ready to pursue the job of your dreams. BUT – did you know that 80% of employers google you before calling you in for an interview? Yes, YOU!

Your online profile is your brand. It’s oftentimes the first impression people have of who you are, which is why cleaning up and updating your social media profiles before a job interview is just as important as preparing your resume and cover letter. Here are some top ways to clean up your social media profiles before applying for a job:

  1. Review your privacy settings: The simplest truth is often the most overlooked – public social media profiles are visible to the public. This means anyone can access photos of your not-so-flattering Halloween costume from 2017 with a simple search. Make sure you know who can see your posts, and adjust your privacy settings accordingly.
  2. Delete inappropriate content: Whether you’re applying for a job or not, trust us – you do not want to be THAT person on social media with inappropriate content. Remove any content that could be viewed as offensive, unprofessional, or inappropriate. Consider posting about your positive experiences and favorite things instead.
  3. Remove tags: Sometimes we can’t prevent our friends from tagging us in pictures and videos they publish. If they’re truly your friend, they’d honor the boundaries you set when it comes to being tagged on social media. If there’s already a post that your future employer would disapprove of, untag yourself from it and any other content that can be damaging to your professional reputation.
  4. Google yourself: You might have cyber-stalked your ex, but have you tried googling yourself? Enter a quick search for your name and see what comes up. If there are any negative results, try to address them safely or bury them with more positive content.
  5. Review your friends and followers: You may have a clean image on social media, but you can’t control the things your friends and followers post. Remove or block anyone who posts inappropriate content or has a negative online presence.
  6. Avoid controversial topics: There are some topics we avoid bringing up at the politically charged dinner table for a reason. The same rules apply to social media. Avoid posting about controversial topics such as politics, religion, or any other sensitive issues that could be viewed adversely by potential employers.
  7. Be mindful of your language: In the heat of the moment, you might believe the content you’re publishing is honest and worth it. Avoid using profanity or derogatory language on your social media accounts. If you’re upset about something, try writing it offline in a notebook until things cool down a bit. You’ll thank us later for suggesting that you do so.
  8. Showcase your professional achievements: The cleanup process doesn’t have to be a negative experience on social media. Utilize LinkedIn to highlight your professional achievements and showcase your skills and qualifications to potential employers. They’re screening you because they believe in you – prove them right about their instincts.

Remember that social media can make or break your chances of getting hired, so it’s important to take the time to clean up your profiles before a job interview. By doing so, you can ensure that you are presenting yourself in the most professional manner possible.

About the Author

Briana Sepulveda Kelly

For a decade, Briana has worked with small businesses and nonprofit organizations in various capacities, managing social media. In previous roles, Briana led storytelling workshops and wrote copy for TV and radio commercials, websites, digital ads, and print materials. She developed her talent in video editing and graphic design for...

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