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    4 Tips for Creating a Positive and Professional Social Media Presence

    After applying to job after job with no results, one might wonder, “What am I doing wrong?” Yes, rewriting your resume and cover letter are great ways to improve your chances of getting noticed. However, have you considered that maybe an employer has already gotten a glimpse of you? That’s right! I’m talking about your social media presence, and how it could be disqualifying you for the job before you even apply.

    According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 84% of employers recruit via social media and 43% of employers screen job candidates through social networks and search engines. The study also found that 36% of companies have actually disqualified job candidates after searching for them online and viewing their social media. Yikes!

    An unprofessional social media presence may have cost you that last job interview, but there is hope for landing the next one. Here are 4 tips for creating a positive and professional social media presence:

    Know what your presence is.

    • To see what employers see when they review your social media, log out of your social media accounts and then do an online search by typing your full name into Google. Any social media platforms that you use will show up in the search results and from there, you can have a firsthand glimpse into what employers see when they screen your profile.
    • Employers can also type any phone numbers you have included on your resume and application into the search engine. Since many social media sites give you the option to link your phone number to your accounts for security and recovery purposes, employers will be able to find any profiles linked to these numbers.

    While observing your social media, thoroughly clean it up!

    • Thoroughly cleaning up your social media presence will involve deleting inappropriate photos, tweets, posts, and comments.
    • Make sure to delete anything that depicts you negatively. This can include anything that suggests you have participated in or are currently participating in illegal activity.
    • Delete any bashing of political figures as this could cause an employer to lean one way or another.
    • Delete anything related to your personal romantic preferences. This can include intimate and or erotic photos, posts, tweets, and comments. Photos of you and your romantic partner are fine as long as they are appropriate.
    • Make sure your name on Facebook is your real name and your username on Twitter is appropriate. By going into your settings, you are able to make changes to these names.

    Change your “Who Can Look Me Up” Privacy settings on Facebook.

    • If cleaning up your Facebook profile is too time-consuming, then you can prevent people from looking you up by going into your privacy settings.
    • By default, anyone can look you up on Facebook unless you change all 3 settings located in the “Who can look me up?” section. Just note that not only will employers not be able to find your Facebook profile, but your friends and family won’t be able to find you either.
    Anyone can look you up on Facebook unless you change all 3 settings located in the “Who can look me up?” section.

    Create a LinkedIn account.

    • Having a Social Media presence is good, but only if it is a positive and professional one. So, what better way to let employers know that you are a positive professional than by creating a LinkedIn account?
    • Your LinkedIn profile shows employers who you are professionally by allowing you to upload a professional profile photo and creating a resume that is then displayed on your profile.
    • LinkedIn also allows others to endorse your past work experience and skills, and you can show off projects you have completed.
    • The more complete your LinkedIn Profile is, the better you will look to employers.

    In conclusion, employers will most likely search for your social media presence when making hiring decisions. Therefore a negative or unprofessional social media presence could be a disqualifying factor. Take into consideration these 4 tips for creating a positive and professional social media presence, and you will be more likely to get that job you’ve been searching for.


    Article Written By April Porter