New graduates: time to clean up your online image

entry level workerGetting ready to graduate and hit the job market?  There’s a lot to think about: crafting a resume, brushing up on your interview skills, expanding your job search network—and one more item you definitely shouldn’t overlook: sprucing up your online image.

By most estimates, more than half of employers look up job candidates on social media. In a survey conducted last year by CareerBuilder, employers said they were looking at candidates’ profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media sites for a few specific reasons:

  • 60 percent are looking for information showing that a candidate is qualified for the job
  • 37 percent want to see what other people are posting about a candidate
  • 21 percent admit they’re looking for reasons not to hire a candidate

How to clean up your social profile

It’s one thing to be aware that a future boss might be viewing your social media profiles.  It’s another thing to know exactly what you need to clean them up.

Luckily, it’s not too complicated to figure out: simply steer clear of posting information, comments, photos, or videos that you wouldn’t want an employer to see. Take a quick tour of your current social media sites—and it’s also worth it to Google yourself to see if any old accounts are still up.

Not sure if something is appropriate?  It’s best to best to err on the side of caution. For each account, take a look to see if you need to delete any of the following:

  • Unprofessional photos—especially ones in which you’re drinking or dressed inappropriately
  • Inappropriate comments by your friends – remember you can delete comments under your photos
  • Discussions about alcohol or drug use
  • Talking poorly about previous employers
  • Discriminatory comments, for instance, using slang terms for racial or ethnic minorities
  • Confidential information about past, current, or prospective employers

Looking for more first-time job seeking tips?  Visit CareerOneStop’s Entry-level Worker.

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