Want the Job? Clean up Your Social Media Accounts

It’s 2017 — the social media background check is huge in the world of applicant screening. Your social media accounts should always be appropriate, regardless of if you’re job hunting or not. Although, during a job search it is crucial to make sure your accounts are appropriate, professional, and spotless.

Making sure you’re on LinkedIn a great way to ensure you have a professional presence online, but don’t forget about all the other social media platforms you may be on.

Potential employers will scour the internet to find out more information about you. This isn’t because they are trying to catch you doing something wrong, they just want to get a better idea of the type of person you are.

It’s no secret that more often than not, job seekers write resumes that exaggerate themselves and their accomplishments. This can make it difficult for a hiring manager to get an honest idea of the candidate. Hiring a new employee is an investment for a company, so they just want to make sure they know exactly who they are hiring and that whether or not that person is worth the investment. Employers don’t want to see a risk.

According to OnwardSearch.com:

  • 91% of hiring agents use social networks to screen prospective employees
  • 76% of these agents (69% overall) check Facebook as a part of their search
  • 42.8% of employees will check your Facebook after reviewing an application
  • 69% of HR officers have rejected job applications based on social media reviews
  • 68% have hired a candidate based on their social media presence
There is no need to clear out your social accounts, just start by making your accounts private. Also, keep in mind that accounts related to the email you used on the job application are easily traceable.

Google Yourself

Googling your own name to see what comes up. Remove controversial or offensive posts and photos. Partying and political rants should be avoided at all costs. If you would be embarrassed for your grandma, boss, or coworker to see your page, you probably should never post it in the first place.

If the content is on a friend’s page, simply explain your situation and they can remove the post.

Set Yourself up For Success

It would be a shame to miss out on a job opportunity because of poor judgement on social media. Always remember to be smart and appropriate with your accounts. Adjust your privacy settings and only post things that you would be comfortable with everyone seeing. Take the initiative to ensure your social media doesn’t hinder your job search.


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