Checking Social Media To Clean Up Your Persona

Social Media

In addition to things found on the open Internet, you also need to take some time to deal with social media. Because people tend to approach social media differently than they do many other web sites, you need to take special steps to make sure that these sites don’t give a bad impression. In this section we’ll discuss a few sites and the problems that they can cause. Each of these sites requires a different strategy to manage. Any new social media sites will probably have similarities to one or more of the sites in the following list, and you can clean up your online persona in similar ways:

LinkedIn —This site is generally professional, so make sure that you have your profile and resume cleaned up. In addition, pay attention to any recommendations you’ve gotten and what they say about you. Obviously, if you have any unprofessional or inflammatory posts, you should probably remove them.

Facebook—By default, your Facebook profile could potentially have a lot of personal information on it. In addition, because the social network is not intended to be professional, it’s fairly likely that at least some of your posts and pictures on the site are not the sort of thing that you want an interviewer to see.

Twitter—Because of the short posts on this site, many people use it extensively and for very short posts. These posts can trend toward the kind of things that make hiring managers cringe. You also have to be careful about who you follow and posts you like, because those may count against you.

Instagram—Billing itself as a photo sharing application, Instagram allows you to share photos with followers. Depending on what kind of photos you are sharing, this can reveal information that you don’t want revealed, or even damage your job prospects. On the other hand, photography can also humanize you in a way that is helpful.

Generally speaking, with social media you want to make sure that a few things are true (and remain true). There aren’t really many rules, but they are very important to protect your image. These are as follows:

Don’t have any obviously offensive posts that are visible with a cursory search. While it’s probably impossible to remove everything that could be a problem from social media, removing the things that are easiest to find is sensible.

Don’t allow other people to post things on the publicly visible parts of your profile. Not only do you want to mitigate the damage you caused posting while not considering the future, but you need to be able to keep other people from doing the same and involving you in their mistakes.

Have a good separation between the professional parts of your persona and the personal ones, without those things crossing. This may mean hidden posts or even separate accounts, but the idea is to keep from leaking personal stuff into your professional profile. It has the added benefit of making things less annoying for people who have no interest in you professionally.

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