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Cleaning up your social media footprint

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Cleaning up your social media footprint

One of the first things a potential employer does when you apply to them is search for your activity on social media. They will make judgements about what they see and may use what they find to help decide if you are right for them (or not).

How can you make sure their research on you doesn’t harm your chances? Now’s the time to look at what you’ve been posting online with the eyes of a potential employer.

First, search your own name on Google and see what comes up. Is it a set of photographs from a legendary night out? Is it comments about how much you don’t want to be a corporate office slave? Does your social media presence imply your main interest in life is dating or playing on-line games? Is your LinkedIn profile completely different to that job application you’ve just sent off? Time for a clean-up!

You need to be thorough too. Social media usually means Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn but a Google search of your name can turn up more. What about comments you’ve made on You Tube? Have you been ranting on internet forums? Do you write or comment on blogs? Do you review products on Amazon?

Check all your accounts and see how much you can make private or visible only to people approved by you. Deleting offending postings or pictures is also a good idea. It also helps if you regularly review and clean up your social media contacts. Do you really need to be connected with someone you haven’t spoken to for years?

Finally, always remember the internet is a public space, even if you’re careful. Never post something you don’t want the whole world to see.

By Donald Lush, Careers Adviser/Team Leader. Find and follow me on LinkedIn.

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