Starting your search for a new job, placement or internship can be a daunting task. There’s the list of obvious areas that need addressing including but not exclusive to; updating your CV, perfecting your relevant interview answers, matching your cover letter to the role, you could even start creating those industry contacts on LinkedIn. The one thing that tends to get neglected is the management of social media accounts.
Imagine acing your way through interviews and psychometric tests just to stumble at the finish line due to nothing more than a Google search. One photo can prove to your friends that you’re ‘hella cool’ but can also result in HR thinking ‘Midweek drinking = Hangovers at work’.
According to a recent Jobvite (survey results = https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf) 2014 Social Recruiting Survey, 93% of hiring managers admitted to looking up potential employees on social media, with 55% of these reconsidering the candidate after the search. It’s now becoming standard practice to advise a quick check on your digital footprint as part of your career search, but where to start?
Facebook – It sounds obvious but check through your profile photos and cover photos, these are automatically public photos unless you change your settings. Delete or untag inappropriate content that friends of family may have posted publicly. Check through what people can see of your profile when you’re logged out of your account.
Twitter – Even if you have 10k tweets please do yourself the favour of checking through an extended number of tweets from the last few months or at least check through your images to make sure there is nothing unsuitable lurking around. Tweets & replies can hide your most sarcastic moments from employers who aren’t so tech savvy but those who are may be in for a treat. Private settings don’t always save you due to more and more employers following their employees on Twitter.
Gmail, Youtube & Google+ – If you’re applying for a job via email please check that Google isn’t doing you the massive favour of posting your Youtube likes and comments to your Google+ Account, usually this would probably go unnoticed because next to no one actually uses Google+ but a large amount of us have accepted Googles nagging invitation to join the Google+ ‘phenomenon’ that links directly to your Gmail account, all an employer has to do to see you’ve favourited 10 Clash of Clans videos in the last month and commented on an ASDF movie is click through to your Google+ Account from your email.
Many career consultants now recommend separating personal and professional life on social media but creating an alternative name for yourself. Most use nicknames or middle names to achieve this. Make sure your URL doesn’t have your full name in if you decide to go down this route. As much as the idea of controlling and manipulating your reputation online may seem like a hindrance, clever job seekers are using this as opportunity by turning the idea on its head. Creating profiles with their real name for their professional image and using the profiles to showcase the best of themselves online.
Obviously it goes without saying that it is easier to not use social media or just be smart about what goes online at all times, you do have plenty of time left to be a student and enjoy life in the meantime.
Written by guest blogger, Abigail McAlpine