Social media sites such as Facebook can be a minefield for job applicants. On the one hand, embarrassing photos from college or that one night you went out with friends and had too much to drink can kill your chances of landing your dream job. On the other hand, scrubbing your profile clean of all but the most tame and sterile photos and status updates can make you look like a robot, or worse, like you have something to hide. So keep the following in mind when cleaning up your social media before applying for jobs:
– Pick a good profile picture. Your profile picture can say good things about you to a potential employer if you choose it correctly. Avoid wearing anything too revealing, but also steer clear of something that might make you look boring or anti-social. A tastefully chosen vacation picture or shot that involves one of your hobbies is a good bet.
– Check photos tagged by others. Even if you do a good job of not posting potentially compromising photos to the Internet, your friends may not be so wise. Think about sitting next to your supervisor while you comb through photos. If the idea of a supervisor seeing a picture makes you uncomfortable, then untag it. If not, leave it tagged as a representation of who you are. You should untag any photo that shows you drinking or wearing provocative clothing.- Look closely at your status updates and wall posts. Aim for a mature, thoughtful expression of who you are. If you had a bad day and posted a profanity-laden expression of your hatred of traffic, scrub it. However, try to leave enough positive or neutral content on your page that employers won’t get the sense that they have encountered a sanitized version of who you are.