Cleaning Up Your Online Profile: 6 Handy Tips

Managing your online activity is important. With COVID-19, your first meeting with an employer is likely to be virtual. That means the first indicator of your suitability for a job role is in your online profile.

Considering this, we’ve shared 6 top tips to make sure the first impression you make when applying for work experience, is always a positive one.

1. Review your privacy settings

According to a recent CareerBuilder study, 70% of employers now use social media to screen candidates. So, having personal social media posts available for anyone to see is not ideal. 

Good news! You can test what people see when viewing your profile, to save an employer from stumbling across anything that could portray you in a negative way. Do this by logging out of your social media account and searching yourself.

Would you find anything that could hinder your application?

You can hide certain bits of your profile using the privacy controls in your account settings. It's also useful to check in on your privacy settings at least once a month. Social media sites can be nifty and alter their privacy controls from time to time without notifying you.

Know anybody whose profile might need a 'digital detoxing'? 

2. Choose only suitable photos

Although social media is designed for socialising with friends and family, you should still think carefully about the photos you upload. Remember the drunken photo from the back of a taxi on your 21st birthday? Or that photo of you sprawled across the bathroom floor at 2am?

These are the things that employers hate. It doesn't sell you as their ideal employee.

As well as only having positive images of yourself online, ask friends to delete any questionable photos of you that they might have posted. In the future, remember that once a photo is put online, you might never be able to fully remove it from the web.

3. Remove any inappropriate content

Time and time again we see media scandals in which past tweets, posts, and photos have resurfaced and damaged the reputation of high-profile celebrities. If someone reviewed your activity on social media, would they find something incriminating?

Whilst you've forgotten about that angry tweet you sent back in 2013, if found, it could land you in hot water. Even if you did share your opinions as jokes or without malicious intent, any insulting, threatening or discriminatory content could end your career even before it has began.

Review your profile from top to bottom to ensure this doesn't happen to you.

4. Make sure you are visible online

social media

We know that employers use social media to screen candidates before inviting them to interview. However, don't get carried away in concealing all your online activity. Having no social media presence can be just as damaging as having a bad social media presence.

As published in a recent CareerBuilder study, more than half of employers claimed they are less likely to interview candidates they cannot find online.

Social media is a part of everyday life. A report from Statista claims that in 2018, 2.65 billion people were using social media worldwide. It's expected to reach 3.1 billion by 2021.

And that makes it no surprise that employers want to see candidates online. Not only does it show engagement with new technologies, but it demonstrates your digital competence too.

Unsure how you can develop a positive presence online? Read this blog to learn how to build a personal brand that will fire up your employability.

5. Create a LinkedIn account

If there is any social media network that can drastically help you climb the career ladder and showcase your best professional self, it's LinkedIn! Now, this is an example of the type of visibility you want!

Designed for ‘anyone looking to navigate their professional life,’ LinkedIn help you to log your work experience, your academic and professional achievements, and network with industry experts.

You can also connect with relevant companies, industries and experts of interest to you. Doing this can help you find useful contacts which may prove valuable when trying to break into your desired industry. If your profile is well put together, companies may even contact you with job offers.

Want some support on how you can create the ultimate LinkedIn profile? Click here, for an informative guide that gives you all the top advice to stand out!

6. Engage in industry-related news​

social media

Whilst top grades, relevant work experience, and a professional online presence are great, employers also like candidates to have commercial awareness.

Staying up to date on developments in your industry, following key influencers in the field and engaging with news pieces, commentaries, and podcasts related to your sector, is a fantastic way to show that you’re a serious candidate! 

You can do this by sharing relevant posts, tweets, and articles across social media and by actively engaging in online discussions about the things that interest you.

Not too difficult right? Hopefully, now that you know how to manage your digital footprint to avoid being shunned from the interview room, you'll be unstoppable in pursuit of your dream role.