Whether or not you’re looking for a new job, it’s a great time to scrub up your virtual presence.
It can get a little depressing in April sometimes, what with all the rain we’ve been having. Instead of feeling frustrated about the weather, you can use your indoor time to your advantage.
Grab a latte and head to your computer to give your online presence a good spring spruce up. Here’s how.
Make a list of all your accounts. This could include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr, Snapchat, Vine, Flickr, Reddit — there’s too many to mention them all. Delete the accounts you don’t often use to reduce the risk from hackers and identity thieves.
Review your security settings. Use enhanced privacy settings for personal social media accounts, but remember that nothing is truly safe when it comes to posting on the Internet. Always pause and think before posting personal information or pictures online.
Think like a hiring manager. If a hiring manager were to review your social media profiles, what would he or she think? Put yourself in their shoes and consider your online profiles as seen from a recruiter or hiring manager’s viewpoint.
Cleanse your profiles of inappropriate items. This doesn’t mean deleting all your fun vacation pictures. But it does mean deleting pictures or verbiage that could harm your chances of getting hired or obtaining a promotion (think “G” not “R” rating). It also means understanding which social media platforms are deemed strictly business-oriented (LinkedIn) and which are better for personal use (such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram).
One of the biggest complaints I hear from recruiters and hiring managers throughout Puget Sound is the inappropriate posts they see on LinkedIn. Anything you post on LinkedIn should help your career, not harm it, so think about the content before you post.
Consider the professional image you want to project. Do you want to be viewed as an expert in a certain field? Then think through the various ways you could do this online, which might include providing value-added comments within discussion forums, providing links to helpful articles within your subject area or authoring blogs or articles in your area of expertise.
Enter your name into several search engines and see what comes up. Did you find anything old or that you don’t want displayed? Go to those online profiles and remove these items. If you found something inappropriate that someone else posted of you, politely ask them to delete the items. Just know that content you remove now might still show up in search engines for quite some time.
Curate your content. Don’t get so caught up in creating your online persona that you forget to live your life in reality. Sure, post about the fun work event, share a few pictures from your community volunteer activities last weekend, tell your colleagues about the great book you just finished and why you found it so helpful. Just don’t forget that life is meant to be lived in real life, not online.