Lesson 6: Social Media Health-Check

Earlier this week you learned about the importance of having a great professional headshot, and you beefed up your professional social media profiles.

That’s awesome progress. High five. ✋

But I’d be remiss not to mention the importance of your whole web presence — especially if you’re looking for a job. Potential employers *do* use Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…all of it.

Candidates who refer to drugs, alcohol, or violence on their personal profiles might get passed over. Bad grammar can also hurt your candidacy (who knows how your recruiter feels about the Oxford Comma?). Wearing your politics on your sleeve might trigger a strong negative (or positive) response.

In short, reactions to what you post online are completely unpredictable. It may not be fair, but it’s life. Here’s how you can take control.

Awareness is the best social media medicine.

If you haven’t done this in awhile, log out of all your social profiles. Then try finding them through a Google search.

Take a few minutes to review what’s publicly available (you might be surprised.) If you find content that you don’t want recruiters to find, be sure to delete or adjust your privacy settings.

Here are privacy guidelines for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, for reference.

Ultimately, you’re in charge.

You might decide that your future employer should share your values, and take you as you are. Those workplaces do exist! They’re uncommon, but not impossible to find.

If you’re young and less established in your career, it’s generally better to play it safe online. Without a long career history to inspect, employers are more likely to make predictions based on your social media profiles.

As long as you’re aware of and comfortable with the image you’ve created online, you’re golden!

Your Assignment:

Review your personal social media profiles, and delete or make private any content that you don’t want employers or professional contacts to see (use this handy checklist. Ensure you’re familiar with the default privacy settings for each account.

Extra Credit: Bring your personal accounts in line with your professional ones — use the same headshot and professional descriptions. You might decide this isn’t the right choice for you, but it certainly will never hurt in the eyes of your professional contacts.


Next Week:

Awesome job with first 2 weeks of preparation. Do you feel more confident already? Next week, it gets real. You’re going to start reaching out to people in your field, and alumni who can help move you forward.

Armed with a killer web presence and interesting narrative, you can’t lose. (See you next week!)