Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are ubiquitous, with the large majority of people having an online presence.
While social media is great for many things, job seekers should be aware that the content they post online can adversely affect their search for a job – especially if the content is unprofessional or radical.
A study conducted in 2015 by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 84% of employers used social media to recruit and 36% of companies rejected an applicant due to questionable social media content.
You don’t have to completely cut off your Facebook content when looking for a job, but you should consider making your profile more presentable – here’s how to do it.
Profile Picture and Cover Photo
Make sure your profile picture is a clean and high-quality image of yourself.
Using images of animals or other characters does not create a professional image and the lack of a profile picture can make a negative impression.
Your cover photo should be relatively professional when looking for a job, as it is available to view by default.
Hide Photos and Albums
Ensure that your photo albums are only visible to your friends to prevent potential employers from rifling through your images.
You can set the privacy of your albums and images to friends only or hide individual photos from your profile.
Check Liked pages
Read through your interests, hobbies, and liked pages in order to filter out anything that might give an employer second thoughts.
While liking weird and interesting pages may seem innocent, having those pages flagged on your profile without context may give a company the wrong impression.
If you’re worried about friends tagging you in pictures you don’t want potential employers to see, you can turn on Timeline Review to manually select which photos appear on your profile.
Hidden images are not deleted, but the feature does prevent anyone from finding or viewing them on your Facebook profile.
Clean up your posts
A lot of Facebook users have used the platform for years and the opinions expressed in previous posts may not align with their current views.
Clean up your post history to filter out embarrassing old posts that may come back to haunt you.
See what other people see
You can see what your Facebook profile looks like from someone else’s perspective by selecting the “View As…” option on your profile page.
This allows you to ensure that your profile is clean and secure when viewed by the public or a potential employer.
Facebook’s recently-launched new Privacy Basics tools help users learn more about controlling information on social media.
The website’s built-in Privacy Checkup also provides you with a brief overview of your audience and who you are sharing your posts with.
These tools can be accessed by clicking on the privacy icon (lock) next to your notifications.